Gomphotherium

The genus Gomphotherium, ancestor of mammoths and elephants
Gomphotherium cranium
Cranium of Gomphotherium Gomphotherium lower jaw
Lower jaw from Dornbach, Austria, on display at Fossil Mammal Collection, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien (Natural History Museum Vienna, , Austria). Photo © Jutta Kirchner, Vienna Zoo
The genus Gomphotherium, (gom-fo-theer-e-um) belongs to the family Gomphotheriidae, (a family within the mammal order Proboscidea extinct since the Pleistocene.

Gomphotherium is regarded as the ancestor to the genus Stegodon as well as mammoths and both the present living species of elephants.

Gomphotherium had both upper and lower incisors (upper tusk bore a prominent, straight enamel band), the skull was elongate and low and they were probably adapted for a semi-amphibius life in lakes and swamps where they used their tusks to dig or scrape up the vegetation.

Fossils from early Miocene and Pliocene have been found in:

  • Dornbach, Austria
  • France
  • Germany
  • Kenya
  • Pakistan
  • Kansas, USA
  • Hagtorp, Eskilstuna, Sweden

Species

  • Gomphotherium anguirvalis
  • Gomphotherium angustidens
  • Gomphotherium annectens
  • Gomphotherium brewsterensis
  • Gomphotherium calvertense
  • Gomphotherium nebrascensis
  • Gomphotherium obscurum
  • Gomphotherium productum (Common Gomphotherium)
  • Gomphotherium rugosidens
  • Gomphotherium sendaicum
  • Gomphotherium simplicidens
  • Gomphotherium willistoni


2 Gomphotherium angustidens in taxidermy collections

IndexNameSexOriginAgeBirthDeath dateArrivalPresent or last Location
1-Dornbach Gomphotherium- Vienna Natural History Museum
2-Reisensburg Gomphoterium- Naturmuseum Senckenberg


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