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Gomphotherium angustidens by WillemSvdMerwe Gomphotherium angustidens by WillemSvdMerwe

This was an early elephant, with four tusks like the Stegotetrabelodon, but its lower tusks were much smaller than the upper ones.  Gomphotherium was a bit lower and longer-bodied than modern elephants, but still quite hefty, reaching a weight of 4-5 tons.   From this kind of elephant many others evolved, some called the shovel-tuskers having even longer lower jaws with broad, flat tusks, and others being more similar to modern elephants, eventually losing the lower tusks.  The genus Gomphotherium lived from about 14 to 3.6 million years ago and was found in Africa, America, Europe and Asia!

Here is the Stegotetrabelodon for comparison:

willemsvdmerwe.deviantart.com/…


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:iconpaleo-reptiles:
Paleo-reptiles Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2016
Nice
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:iconwillemsvdmerwe:
WillemSvdMerwe Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2016
Thanks!
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:iconffejgao:
ffejgao Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2016  Student
What did that thing eat? 
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:iconwillemsvdmerwe:
WillemSvdMerwe Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2016
Probably a wide variety of plants!
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:iconapeman505:
apeman505 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yay, I love gompotherium!!
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:iconwillemsvdmerwe:
WillemSvdMerwe Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014
I'm glad you do, thanks!
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:iconparaceratherium:
Paraceratherium Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014
South America was the last bastion of the Gomphotheres. Prior to the late Pleisctocene extinctions, there were three families of Proboscideans with more than half a dozen species. Hardly an "archaic" order on its way out. Now there are only three species in one family - a shameful loss. Dr Valerius Geist presented compelling evidence that prehistoric humans were responsible. Being big meant that you didn't have to flee from any predator. Dr Geist theorized that the extant elephant species survived, because they adapted by fleeing upon detecting the presence of early human hunters. They have yet to adapt to firearms.
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:iconwwcb:
WWCB Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014
Maybe they are still in South America
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:iconwillemsvdmerwe:
WillemSvdMerwe Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014
Yes it's sad that so many proboscideans died out so recently.
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:icondracoflameus:
DracoFlameus Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderful rendition! I've always found the jaw and tusk positions of prehistoric elephants interesting.
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:iconwillemsvdmerwe:
WillemSvdMerwe Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2014
Thanks a lot!  That makes two of us!
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:icondracoflameus:
DracoFlameus Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Heh heh, you're welcome.
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:iconsarahharas07:
Sarahharas07 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's nice you've added the birds, it gives a a better understanding of the 'elephant's' height
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:iconwillemsvdmerwe:
WillemSvdMerwe Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014
Thanks Sarah!  I'm glad you mention the birds heh heh!
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:iconsarahharas07:
Sarahharas07 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconthumbupplz:
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:iconherofan135:
herofan135 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So beautiful, you captured it perfectly!
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:iconwillemsvdmerwe:
WillemSvdMerwe Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014
Thank you very much!  Perfect is a bit of a strong word ... there are many unknowns when trying to reconstruct a creature as ancient as this!
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:iconherofan135:
herofan135 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Indeed, but you did a great job!
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:iconrainyskyz:
RainySkyz Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014   Writer
Amazing drawing! And amazing elephant! I wonder how they used their lower tusks?
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:iconwillemsvdmerwe:
WillemSvdMerwe Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014
Hi and thanks!  We still don't quite know how they used their long lower jaws and tusks ... perhaps to dig up plants. 
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:iconzimices:
Zimices Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Hobbyist
Really wonderful portrait. And between prosbocideans, it is between my favorites (also is similar to the animal in my avatar :))
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:iconwillemsvdmerwe:
WillemSvdMerwe Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014
Thanks a lot!  Astrapotheres (and all those other ancient South American things) are very cool too!
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:iconzimices:
Zimices Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist
The mammals with trunks are cool, indeed :)
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:iconteddyblackbear2040:
TeddyBlackBear2040 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Amazing
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:iconwillemsvdmerwe:
WillemSvdMerwe Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014
Thanks very much!
Reply
:iconteddyblackbear2040:
TeddyBlackBear2040 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Always a pleasure friend keep me updated on new ancient animals and keep up the great work.
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:iconking-edmarka:
King-Edmarka Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderful work!  Fossil proboscideans are among my favorite Paleoart subjects. 

But they have found the remains of Gomphotherium in Eastern Africa.
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:iconwillemsvdmerwe:
WillemSvdMerwe Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014
Thanks for correcting me!  I fixed it.  I shoulda done more research, the books I have here don't mention the African finds, but yes and I should have remembered, there was talk of a pig here that was reconstructed with forward-pointing teeth but it seems gomphothere tusks were misidentified as pig tusks.  Over here in South Africa the fossils of a very similar gomphothere was found but my books have it as Anancus, the European member of which looks very different. 
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:iconking-edmarka:
King-Edmarka Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I think Anancus has been found in Africa too, but I could be wrong.  All of these fossil elephants are very widespread and it's hard to keep track! :)
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:iconwillemsvdmerwe:
WillemSvdMerwe Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014
Anancus has been found in many places here in Africa.  I've been trying to get info and pictures but there's almost nothing.  The local Anancus here, found in the West Coast Fossil Park, is considered to be the species Anancus capensis, but I'm getting contradictory info on it.  All the pictures I've seen, reconstruct it as very similar to Gomphotherium, with four rather short tusks, but the description says it looks more like the European Anancus, with long upper tusks but no lower tusks.  And then, there's almost nothing online about African Gomphotherium fossils.  There are very nice complete skeletons and other material from Europe, Asia and America, though.  I think Africa seriously need more palaeontologists!
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:iconking-edmarka:
King-Edmarka Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree, there should be more palaeontologists in Africa.
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:iconorionide5:
Orionide5 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014
Beautiful! I wonder if there's any evidence for or against prehistoric proboscideans having the same trunks as modern ones... the shape of the nose aperture, maybe?
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:iconwillemsvdmerwe:
WillemSvdMerwe Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014
Thanks!  The evidence for a trunk is indeed in the shape of the nose opening, which in this is very high on the skull as in modern elephants.  But also, if it seems that a trunk would have been necessary for this elephant to eat, it would need something to feed from the ground, pick things up and put it in its mouth - the way those teeth point forward, I'm sure it would have needed to be able to do this - or to drink.
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