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Temporal range: Late Eocene-Early Oligocene
~37–30 Ma
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Proboscidea
Family: Phiomiidae
Genus: Phiomia
Species: P. serridens
Binomial name
Phiomia serridens
Andrews & Beadnell, 1902
Life reconstruction of Phiomia serridens

Phiomia is an extinct genus of basal proboscid that lived in what is now Northern Africa during the Late Eocene to Early Oligocene some 37-30 million years ago.[1] "Phiomia serridens" means "saw-toothed animal of Faiyum".


Phiomia minor skull and model

Phiomia was around 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) high,[citation needed] and vaguely resembled a modern elephant, although, based on the shape of its nasal bones, it had only a very short trunk. It had short tusks on the upper jaw and also short shovel-like tusks on the lower jaw that were most likely used for gathering food. These were similar to those of the Miocene Platybelodon, Archaeobelodon, and Amebelodon, but considerably smaller. The tusks in the upper jaw may have been used in defence,[2] or scraping bark off trees.


  1. ^ Strauss, B. Prehistoric Elephant Pictures and Profiles
  2. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 239. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.