Mastodonts and Mammoths of Vatera

A distant relative of the elephant lived two million years ago in Vatera: the straight-tusked mastodont (Anancus arvernensis). Although this animal looks somewhat like an elephant with huge, straigth tusks, it is not directly related to it. Its cheek teeth do not have the typical ridges as seen in elephant and mammoths, but have cones instead (bunodont).  Anancus was a browser, and fed on leaves, fruits and roots, all to be found in the forests. It was a large animal of about three metres high and four metres long. The tusks could grow as long as the body.

 

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Skeleton of Anancus arvernensis at Museo di Paleontologia, Florence (Italy)

 

Another relative of the elephant lived around Vatera, the southern mammoth (Mammuthus meridionalis). As elephants, mammoths have cheek teeth with parallel enamel ridges

 

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Skeleton of Mammuthus meridionalis at Museo di Paleontologia,