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Temporal range: Middle Miocene–Late Miocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Proboscidea
Family: Gomphotheriidae
Genus: Gnathabelodon
Type species
Gnathabelodon thorpei
Barbour and Sternberg, 1935[1]
  • G. thorpei Barbour and Sternberg, 1935 (type)
  • G. buckneri Sellards, 1940

Gnathabelodon is an extinct proboscidean (elephant) genus endemic to North America that includes species that lived during the Middle to Late Miocene. They were called "spoon-billed mastodons" since their lower jaw was elongated and shaped like a shoe-horn or spoon. The genus Gnathabelodon consists of two species: Thorpe's spoon-billed mastodon (G. thorpei) and Buckner's spoon-billed mastodon (G. buckneri). The flaring of the tip of their lower jaw was similar to that of the "shovel-tuskers" (Platybelodon and Amebelodon); however, Gnathabelodon species are distinct in having no lower tusks whilst the "shovel tuskers" have broad, flattened lower tusks. The upper tusks are large and curve outwards and upwards. In respects to dentition and overall body form, it was similar to other species of Gomphotherium.


  1. ^ Barbour, E.H. and Sternberg, G. (1935). Gnathabelodon thorpei, gen. et sp. nov. A new mud-grubbing mastodon. Bulletin of the Nebraska State Museum, 42: 395-404.


  • A Pictorial Guide to Fossils by Gerard Ramon Case
  • Classification of Mammals by Malcolm C. McKenna and Susan K. Bell