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Proboscideans

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A tribute to one of the most awesome and famous group of mammals and by far my top favorite mammalian group, the mighty proboscideans !!

(Moeritherium, Deinotherium giganteum, Platybelodon grangeri, Numidotherium, Gomphotherium steinheimense, Amebelodon fricki, Chilgatherium, Palaeomastodon , Deinotherium bozasi, Stegomastodon mirificus, Stegodon trigonocephalus, Zygolophodon borsoni, American mastodon, Barytherium grave, Stegotetrabelodon syrticus, Cuvieronius hyodon, Stegodon zdanskyi, Tilos dwarf elephant, Palaeoloxodon namadicus, Prodeinotherium bavaricum, Notiomastodon platensis, Rhynchotherium falconeri, Loxodonta atlantica, Palaeoloxodon falconeri, Palaeoloxodon antiquus, Palaeoloxodon recki, Mammuthus africanavus, South African mammoth , Sardinian dwarf mammoth, Southern mammoth, Steppe mammoth, Pygmy mammoth, Cretan dwarf mammoth, Columbian mammoth, Woolly mammoth)-(extinct), African elephant and Asian elephant.

In the past, there were perhaps some 160 species of proboscideans. In this image, there are only 37 species and yet it just seems like overcrowded.


Nearly half of the proboscideans are based on the skeletal reconstruction by Asier Larramendi.

Larramendi, A. 201X. Shoulder height, body mass and shape of proboscideans. Acta. Palaeontologica Polonica XX (X): xxx–xxx. dx.doi.org/10.4202/app.00136.2…


(The order proboscidea has one of the most comprehensive fossil records of any species. The evolutionary history of proboscideans has always been of great interest to vertebrate palaeontologists.

There were tiny mammals lived alongside dinosaurs for many million years. Mammals diversified after the extinction of dinosaurs and among those mammals was a tiny proboscidean. It evolved into several different species. This group was very successful that they were so diverse. Over time, they not only became bigger but became the most dominant of all the mammals. They inhabited every continent except Australia and Antarctica. Some proboscideans are heavier than the largest carnivorous dinosaurs.

Elephantidae is a family of large, herbivorous mammals collectively called elephants and mammoths. These are terrestrial large mammals with a snout modified into a trunk and teeth modified into tusks. Most genera and species in the family are extinct. Only two genera, Loxodonta (African elephants) and Elephas (Asiatic elephants) are the only surviving members of the order proboscidea.

African elephants are highly intelligent, and they have a very large and highly convoluted neocortex, a trait they share with humans, apes and some dolphin species. They are among the world's most intelligent species. With a mass of just over 5 kg (11 lb), elephant brains are larger than those of any other land animal, and although the largest whales have body masses twenty-fold those of a typical elephant, whale brains are barely twice the mass of an
elephant's brain. The elephant's brain is similar to that of humans in terms of structure and complexity. For example, the elephant's cortex has as many neurons as that of a human brain,suggesting convergent evolution.

Elephants use some vocalizations that are beyond the hearing range of humans, to communicate across large distance. Elephants exhibit a wide variety of behaviors, including those associated with grief, learning, allomothering, mimicry, art, play, a sense of humor, altruism, use of tools, compassion, cooperation, self-awareness, memory and possibly language. The intelligence of some proboscideans rivals that of primates.

The largest land mammal alive today, the African elephant which weighs about 6 tonnes, the record holder individual weighed about 10.4 tonnes. The order proboscidea also has the largest ever land mammal, palaeoloxodon namadicus which weighed upto 22 tonnes.)

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© 2012 - 2021 SameerPrehistorica
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jpritchett99's avatar
EspritElephant's avatar

Wonderful and very interesting, thank you !

more subspecies elephant on a parade what did you do what an Awesome view

SameerPrehistorica's avatar
I was not much comfortable mentioning their number of species at 350, i wondered if it was correct or not. Now i changed it to 160, however it seems like their exact numbers of species might be somewhat difficult to know. There are different information mentioned in some sites, ranging from 160 to 352 species. They also include the subspecies.
TheSirenLord's avatar
I mean it appears that there were quite a few genra
and species
dgimandre's avatar

Это моя любимая реконструкция !

I would like to buy this poster.

Diceworld's avatar
Is it possible to buy this poster?
TheSirenLord's avatar
Can I ask what do you mean by overpopulation
dylan613's avatar
I wonder what would have happened if all of these extinct elephant species are all still alive today in their own environments and adapted to deal with changes in climates and slight habitat changes? What species of these prehistoric elephants could be the best candidate for domestication?
RizkiusMaulanae's avatar
Afaik, the borneo elephant is not a native to the Borneo island. My dad said that the elephants were actually a gift from a kingdom from thailand for Malaysia (in this case they put the elephants in North Borneo). However, some elephants managed to escape and bred in the wilderness of the Borneo island.
Have a look at Baz Edmeades' wonderful website "Megafauna : First Victims of Human Expansion" at www.megafauna.com
He makes the point that early humans in Africa, as far back as the Pliocene, 3-4 million years ago, were already impacting upon Africa's large animals, particularly giant tortoises
and Proboscideans.  We would have somewhere between 20 and 30 pachyderm species today in the absence of human hunting, if you include Asia's Stegodons, the
numerous pygmy species of elephants and mammoths on Mediterranean islands, the recently extinct pachyderms of North And South America, the woolly mammoths and straight-tusked
elephants of Europe, and the huge Palaeoloxodon namadicus of South East Asia, which only went extinct about 25, 000 years ago.
Paraceratherium's avatar
Before the close of the Pleistocene, there were at least three families of Proboscideans. We still had the mastodons, the last representatives of the Gomphotheres in South America as well as the elephants including the mammoths. There were probably nearly a dozen species and subspecies. Dr Valerius Geist theorized that these large mammals felt no need to run from most predators because of their size. When human hunters who specialized in killing megafauna came on board, most Proboscideans didn't adapt by running away. Three species of elephants survived., because they learned to flee the moment they sensed humans by ear or smell. Even in Africa during the past two centuries there were a few hunter-gatherer peoples who were skilled at killing elephants without firearms. This shows the sophistication of hunter-gatherers at hunting large intelligent mammals.
kamarodu21's avatar
But there is 4 species still alive shown in this picture, i always tought there was only the Asian elephant, the African bush elephant and the African forest elephant.
SameerPrehistorica's avatar
If we use the word 'species', there are only 2 species of elephants alive today. The African forest elephant is a subspecies of the African bush elephant and the Borneo pygmy elephant is one of the 4 subspecies of the Asian elephant.

We can add subspecies in an image but should mention it's correct name. For example, in a bear comparison image, some people may mention one of the bears as brown bear but if there is 2 brown bears present in that image,then the 2 subspecies of brown bears name should be mentioned properly, like Kodiak bear and grizzly bear rather than 2 brown bears.

Here in this image,i have used the name 'Srilankan elephant' instead of Asian elephant because there are 2 Asian elephant subspecies present in the image. The Srilankan elephant being the largest subspecies and the Borneo pygmy elephant being the smallest subspecies.
kamarodu21's avatar
oh ok, it's clear !
SameerPrehistorica's avatar
Even though later i thought that there is no need for the modern elephant subspecies for this image, so i removed them.
SameerPrehistorica's avatar
Ofcourse some of them don't need to run from predators because of their size, awesome strength and intelligence combined. The felines fanboys will not agree it and who cares. That is not surprising, they use spear kinds of stuffs and making traps on the ground where some elephants will fall down.The worst species ever are humans.
Paraceratherium's avatar
Would you like to feature your submission in our gallery?
SameerPrehistorica's avatar
Which is your group? Actually this image needs one last update.
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