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Temporal range: Miocene, 15–10 Ma
Hohhot.inner mongolia museum.Platybelodon grangeri.2.jpg
P. grangeri skeleton, Inner Mongolia Museum
Scientific classification

Borissiak, 1928
Type species
Platybelodon danovi
Borissiak, 1928
  • P. grangeri Osborn, 1929
  • P. beliajevae Alexeeva, 1971
  • P. tongxinensis Chen, 1978

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


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]


  1. ^ Lambert, W.D (1992). "The feeding habits of the shovel-tusked gomphotheres: evidence from tusk wear patterns". Paleobiology. 18 (2): 132–147. doi:10.1017/S0094837300013932. JSTOR 2400995.
  2. ^ Semprebon, Gina; Tao, Deng; Hasjanova, Jelena; Solounias, Nikos (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". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 457: 109–116. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.012.

Further reading[edit]

  • 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]