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Temporal range: Late Oligocene - Holocene,[1] 28.4–0.011 Ma
Mammut skeleton Museum of the Earth.jpg
Mounted mastodon skeleton, Museum of the Earth
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Proboscidea
Clade: Elephantimorpha
Clade: Mammutida
Superfamily: Mammutoidea
Hay, 1922[2]
Family: Mammutidae
Hay, 1922

Eozygodon Tassy and Pickford, 1983
Losodokodon Rasmussen & Gutiérrez, 2009
Mammut Blumenbach, 1799
Miomastodon Osborn, 1922[3]
Sinomammut Mothé et al., 2016[4]
Zygolophodon Vacek, 1877

Mammutidae distribution without South America.png
The inferred range of the Mammutidae
  • Mastodontidae Gray, 1821

Mammutidae is an extinct family of proboscideans that appeared during the Oligocene epoch and survived until the start of the Holocene. The family was first described in 1922, classifying fossil specimens of the type genus Mammut (mastodons), and has since been placed in various arrangements of the order. The name "mastodon" derives from Greek, μαστός "nipple" and ὀδούς "tooth", as with the genus, referring to a characteristic that distinguishes them from allied families. The genus Zygolophodon has also been assigned to this family. Mammutids ranged very widely, with fossils found in North America, Africa, and throughout Eurasia.


Mammut americanum cast skeleton produced and distributed by Triebold Paleontology Incorporated

Since the 18th century several fossils have been found in different regions of Venezuela; the first one of these fossils was reviewed by Alexander von Humboldt.

In August 2008, miners in Romania unearthed the skeleton of a 2.5-million-year-old mastodon, believed to be one of the best preserved in Europe.[6] Ninety percent of the skeleton's bones were intact, with damage to the skull and tusks.[6] In 2009, a family in Portland, Michigan, unearthed mastodon bones while excavating a new pond on their property. It is one of around 250 mastodons found in Michigan over the past century.[7]

The first excavation to discover mastodon fossils in Elmacık village in Burdur province, Turkey, took place in 2006. As of July 2009, six mastodon fossils have been discovered in the village.[8]

In August 2011, a skeleton of a mastodon was found near Tomislavgrad in Bosnia and Herzegovina.[9] In November 2011, a mastodon skeleton was unearthed in Daytona Beach, Florida, during construction of a retention pond.[10] The find is being studied by the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Sciences.


It has been traditionally assumed that mammutids are the most basal group within Elephantimorpha, with gomphotheres being more closely related to elephants.[11] However recent molecular[12] and morphological[13] evidence suggests that trilophodont gomphotheres and mammutids are more closely related to each other than they are to elephants.


  1. ^ "Mammutidae in the Paleobiology Database". Fossilworks. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  2. ^ Hay, Oliver Perry (1922). "Further observations on some extinct elephants" (PDF). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 35: 97–101. Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  3. ^ Wang, S.-Q.; Zhang, X.-X.; Li, C.-X. (2020). "Reappraisal of Serridentinus gobiensis Osborn & Granger and Miomastodon tongxinensis Chen: the validity of Miomastodon" (PDF). Vertebrata PalAsiatica. doi:10.19615/j.cnki.1000-3118.200310. Retrieved 2020-03-15.
  4. ^ Dimila Mothé, Leonardo S. Avilla, Desi Zhao, Guangpu Xie and Boyang Sun (2016). "A new Mammutidae (Proboscidea, Mammalia) from the Late Miocene of Gansu Province, China". Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências. 88 (1): 65–74. doi:10.1590/0001-3765201520150261. PMID 26839998.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  5. ^ Shoshani, Jeheskel; Pascal Tassy (2005). "Advances in proboscidean taxonomy & classification, anatomy & physiology, and ecology & behavior". Quaternary International. 126–128: 5–20. Bibcode:2005QuInt.126....5S. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2004.04.011.
  6. ^ a b 2.5 million-year-old mastodon unearthed in Romania, USA Today, 2008-08-08, Retrieved on 11 August 2008
  7. ^ "Michigan Family Finds Prehistoric Bones - Mastodon Bones To Be Given To University Of Michigan". The Associated Press. 2 July 2009. Archived from the original on 5 July 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  8. ^ "Mastodon Fossils Discovered In Burdur/Turkey". Yerbilimleri. July 17, 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-07-20. Retrieved 17 July 2009.
  9. ^ U Tomislavgradu otkriven kostur pretka slona, Večernji list, 2011-08-18. Retrieved 2011-08-26 (in Croatian)
  10. ^ "More mastodon pieces turning up at Daytona site". 2011-11-30. Archived from the original on 2018-11-08. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  11. ^ Shoshani, J.; Ferretti, M.P.; Lister, A.M.; Agenbroad, L.D.; Saegusa, H.; Mol, D.; Takahashi, K. (July 2007). "Relationships within the Elephantinae using hyoid characters". Quaternary International. 169–170: 174–185. Bibcode:2007QuInt.169..174S. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2007.02.003. ISSN 1040-6182.
  12. ^ Buckley, M.; Recabarren, O.P.; Lawless, C.; García, N.; Pino, M. (November 2019). "A molecular phylogeny of the extinct South American gomphothere through collagen sequence analysis". Quaternary Science Reviews. 224: 105882. Bibcode:2019QSRv..22405882B. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.105882.
  13. ^ Shi-Qi Wang; Xiao-Xiao Zhang; Chun-Xiao Li (2020). "Reappraisal of Serridentinus gobiensis Osborn & Granger and Miomastodon tongxinensis Chen: the validity of Miomastodon". Vertebrata PalAsiatica. 58 (2): 134–158. doi:10.19615/j.cnki.1000-3118.200310.