Platybelodon

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Platybelodon
Temporal range: Miocene, 15–10 Ma
WPHubeiPlatybeladon.jpg
Skeleton exhibited at Hubei province
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Proboscidea
Family: Amebelodontidae
Subfamily: Platybelodontinae
Genus: Platybelodon
Borissiak, 1928
Species
  • P. danovi Borissiak, 1928 (type)
  • P. grangeri Osborn, 1929
  • P. beliajevae Alexeeva, 1971
  • P. tongxinensis Chen, 1978

Platybelodon ("flat-spear tusk") was a genus of large herbivorous mammal related to the elephant (order Proboscidea). It lived during the late Miocene Epoch in Asia and the Caucasus.

Life reconstruction of Platybelodon grangeri

Description[edit]

Restoration of P. grangeri
P. grangeri skull

Platybelodon was very similar to Amebelodon, another, closely related gomphothere genus. Due to the shape of the two lower teeth, in common with many gomphothere genera (such as Platybelodon, Archaeobelodon, Konobelodon, and Amebelodon), they are popularly known as "shovel tuskers."

Palaeobiology[edit]

Platybelodon was previously believed to have fed in the swampy areas of grassy savannas, using its teeth to shovel up aquatic and semi-aquatic vegetation. However, wear patterns on the teeth suggest that it used its lower tusks to strip bark from trees, and may have used the sharp incisors that formed the edge of the "shovel" more like a modern-day scythe, grasping branches with its trunk and rubbing them against the lower teeth to cut it from a tree.[1] Adult animals in particular might have eaten coarser vegetation more frequently than juveniles.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lambert, W.D. (1992). "The feeding habits of the shovel-tusked gomphotheres: evidence from tusk wear patterns." Paleobiology, 18(2): 132-147.
  2. ^ Semprebon, G., Tao, D., Hasjanova, J., Solounias, N. 2016. An examination of the dietary habits of Platybelodon grangeri from the Linxia Basin of China: Evidence from dental microwear of molar teeth and tusks. Palaeogreography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. doi: 10.1016.j.palaeo.2016.06.012
  • Barry Cox, Colin Harrison, R.J.G. Savage, and Brian Gardiner. (1999): The Simon & Schuster Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures: A Visual Who's Who of Prehistoric Life. Simon & Schuster.
  • Jordi Agusti and Mauricio Anton. (2002): Mammoths, Sabertooths, and Hominids. Pg.90, Columbia University Press.
  • Jayne Parsons.(2001): Dinosaur Encyclopedia. Pg.260, Dorling Kindersley.
  • David Norman. (2001): The Big Book Of Dinosaurs. Pg.420-421, Welcome Books.
  • Hazel Richardson.(2003): Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals (Smithsonian Handbooks). Pg.173, Dorling Kindersley.

External links[edit]