Mammuthus meridionalis

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Mammuthus meridionalis
Temporal range: 2.5–1.5 Ma
Museum of Natural History Southern Mammoth.jpg
Skeleton of Mammuthus meridionalis, Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Proboscidea
Family: Elephantidae
Genus: Mammuthus
Species: M. meridionalis
Binomial name
Mammuthus meridionalis
(Nesti, 1825)
  • Archidiskodon meridionalis
  • Mammuthus gromovi (Alexeeva & Garutt, 1965)
  • Mammuthus meridionalis vestinus
  • M. m. voigtstedtensis (Dietrich, 1965)

Mammuthus meridionalis, or the southern mammoth, is an extinct species of mammoth endemic to Europe and central Asia from the Gelasian stage of the Early Pleistocene, living from 2.5–1.5 mya.[1]


Mammuthus meridionalis

With a shoulder height of about 4 metres (13 ft) and an estimated weight of 8–10 tonnes (8.8–11.0 short tons), M. meridionalis is one of the largest proboscideans to have ever lived, along with other larger species of mammoth, and the earlier Deinotherium. Another estimate gives a shoulder height of 3.97 metres (13.0 ft) and a weight of 10.7 tonnes (11.8 short tons).[2] It had robust twisted tusks, common of mammoths. Its molars had low crowns and a small number of thick enamel ridges, adapted to a woodland diet of leaves and shrubs; this indicates it lived on a relatively warm climate, which makes it more probable that it lacked dense fur.[3]

Habitat and diet[edit]

Plant and fossils found with the remains show that M. meridionalis was living in a time of mild climate, generally as warm or slightly warmer than Europe experiences today. Deciduous mixed wood provided its habitat and food, which compromised mostly of tree-browse: oak, ash, beech and other familiar European trees, as well as some that are now exotic to the region, such as hemlock, wing nut and hickory. Completes skeletons are in Stavropol State Museum, in Russia, and in L'Aquila National Museum, in Italy. Further east, discoveries at Ubeidiya (Israel) and Dmanisi (Georgia) show the early mammoth living in a partially open habitat with grassy areas, though subsisting on scattered trees and shrubs. [3]



  1. ^ PaleoBiology Database: Mammuthus meridionalis, basic info
  2. ^ Larramendi, A. (2015). "Shoulder height, body mass and shape of proboscideans" (PDF). Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 60. doi:10.4202/app.00136.2014. 
  3. ^ a b Lister, Adrian; Bahn, Paul. (10/11/2007). Mammoths: giants of the ice age. Frances Lincoln LTD. pp. 25–26.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links[edit]

Media related to Mammuthus meridionalis at Wikimedia Commons