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Temporal range: Late Pliocene to Pleistocene
Stegomastodon mirificus - Smithsonian.JPG
S. mirificus fossil at the Smithsonian natural history museum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Proboscidea
Family: Gomphotheriidae
Genus: Stegomastodon
Pohlig, 1912
  • S. mirificus
  • S. primitivus

Stegomastodon ('roof breast tooth') is an extinct genus of gomphothere, a family of proboscideans. It is not to be confused with the genus Mammut from a different proboscidean family, whose members are commonly called "mastodons", nor with the genus Stegodon, from yet another proboscidean subfamily, whose members are commonly called "stegodonts".

Restoration of S. mirificus

It stood 2.8 metres (9 ft) tall and looked like a robust version of the modern elephant. It weighed about 6,000 kilograms (13,000 lb). Like modern elephants, but unlike most of its closer relatives, it had just two tusks. These tusks curved upward and were about 3.5 metres (11 ft) long. Stegomastodon's molars were covered in enamel and had a complex pattern of ridges and knobbly protrusions on them, giving the creature a large chewing surface that enabled it to eat grass. Its brain weighed about 11 pounds (5 kg).

It lived in North and South America. The two South American species arrived following the Great American Interchange. They were initially mixed feeders; S. waringi evolved toward grazing, while S. platensis evolved toward browsing.[1] The Stegomastodon species occupied warmer, lower-altitude habitats east of the Andes, while the related gomphothere Cuvieronius hyodon occupied cooler, higher-altitude habitats.[1] It has been C14 dated to as recently as 6,060 BP in Yumbo, Valle del Cauca, Colombia.[2] [3]


  1. ^ a b Prado, J. L.; Alberdi, M. T.; Azanza, B.; Sánchez, B.; Frassinetti, D. (2005). "The Pleistocene Gomphotheriidae (Proboscidea) from South America". Quaternary International. 126-128: 21–30. Bibcode:2005QuInt.126...21P. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2004.04.012.  edit
  2. ^ Rodríguez-Flórez, Carlos David; Ernesto León Rodríguez-Flórez y Carlos Armando Rodríguez (2009). "Revision of Pleistocenic Gomphotheriidae Fuana in Columbia and case report in the Department of Valle Del Cauca" (PDF). Scientific Bulletin (Museum Center - Natural History Museum) 13 (2): 78–85. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  3. ^ Correal, Gonzalo; Thomas van der Hammen (2003). "Supervivencia de Mastodontes, Megaterios y presencia del hombre en el vale del Magdalena(COLOMBIA) entre 6000 y 5000 AP." (PDF). Revista de la Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales (Academia Colombiana) 27 (103): 159–164. Retrieved 2010-11-09.