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Deinotherium - A Proboscidean Mammal of the Miocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene

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  • Neal Robbins
        A fossil photo of Deinotherium is on this link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hauerelefant-Deinotherium.jpg     These links have illustrations
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2011
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          A fossil photo of Deinotherium is on this link.
          These links have illustrations of Deinotherium.
          Deinotherium was a genus of proboscidean mammals. The systematic paleontology of it is:
      Mammalia Linnaeus 1758
      Proboscidea Illiger 1811
      Deinotheroidea Osborn 1921
      Deinotheriidae Bonaparte 1845
      Deinotherium Kaup 1829
      Deinotherium giganteum Kaup 1829
      D. indicum Falconer 1845
      D. bozasi Arambourg 1934
      D. sindiense Lydekker
          Deinotherium was physiologically similar to modern elephants, though there are some differences. The trunk of Deinotherium was shorter. Deinotherium had two tusks that were connected to the mandible (lower jaw). They curved downward and may have been used for rooting up plants. It is also possible that Deinotherium used those tusks for stripping the bark from trees.
          Deinotherium was a huge creature. Males were larger than females. The males were usually 3.5 - 4.5 m. (12-15 feet) tall. The weight of Deinotherium is estimated to have been 5-10 tonnes.
          Deinotherium had an extremely wide distribution. Fossils of this proboscidean have been found in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
          Athanassios Athanassiou wrote an article titled On a Deinotherium (Proboscidea) finding in the Neogene of Crete. It was published in Notebooks on Geology Letter 2004/2005. The complete text is on this link. Fossil photos are included.
          Fossil remains of Deinotherium giganteum have been discovered in Outcrop A, Gaiselberg, near Zistersdorf, in Niederosterreich, Austria. They date to the Tortonian interval (11.61 - 7.25 million years ago) of the Miocene. Other Tortonian remains were excavated at Shakhty in Kazakhstan. Some fossil remains of this species have been unearthed at Cioburcia in Moldova (Tighina Department). They are dated to a late Miocene interval of 11.61 - 9 million years ago. Remains were also found at Sansan in France (Midi-Pyrenees Region). They date to a Langhian-Serravallian span (15.97 - 11.61 million years ago). Others have been discovered in the Macrofauna of Los Valles de Fuentiduenya of Segovia, Spain. They are dated to the Vallesian interval (11.6 - 9 million years ago) of the Miocene. Remains dating to the MN 5 interval (16 - 13.7 million years ago) were unearthed at Pasalar in Bursa, Turkey. Fossil remains dated to the early Pliocene (5.33 - 3.6 million years ago) have been excavated at Tanovka in the Ukraine. [Note - The source of this information is The Paleobiology Database.]
          Fossils of Deinotherium indicum have been discovered in India and Pakistan. Deinotherium indicum had p4-m3 intravallery denticles. It was around as early as the Middle Miocene and seems to have gone extinct about 7 million years ago (late Miocene).
          Remains of Deinotherium indicum were found at the Somsak Sand Pit in Thailand (Nakron Ratchasima). They date to a late Miocene interval of 11.61 - 5.33 million years ago. [Note - The source of this information is The Paleobiology Database.]
          Fossil remains of Deinotherium sindiense have been excavated in India. Ansuya Bhandari, D.M. Mohabey, Sunil Bajpai, B.N. Tiwari, and Martin Pickford wrote an article titled Early Miocene mammals from central Kutch (Gujrat), Western India: Implications for geochronology, biogeography, eustacy and intercontinental dispersals. It was published in 2010 in Neues Jahrbuch fur Geologie und Palaontologie-Abhandlungen, Volume 256, Number 1, pp. 69-97(29). The abstract is on this link.
          The cranium of Deinotherium bozasi was narrower and higher than those of the other species. It also had a shorter mandibular symphysis. The nasal aperture of D. bozasi was smaller, though higher. The rostral trough was narrower. Deinotherium lasted into the Pleistocene. Fossils dating to about 1 million years ago (early Pleistocene) were found in the Kanjera Formation in Kenya.
          Fossil remains of Deinotherium bozasi have been discovered at East Turkana - Area 129 - Lokochot/Tulu Bor in Kenya. They are dated to the Piacenzian interval (3.6 - 2.59 million years ago) of the Pliocene. Other Piacenzian remains were unearthed at Laetoli - Loc. 6 in Tanzania. Some fossil remains of this species have been found in the Chemeran Formation at Sagatia - BPRP K075 in Kenya. They date to the Zanclean interval (5.33 - 1.81 million years ago) of the Pliocene. Pliocene fossil remains were also excavated in Kenya. Numerous other fossils of Deinotherium bozasi were discovered in Africa, for example, in Ethiopia. Fossils of this species range from the Miocene to the Pleistocene (1.81 million - 11,000 years ago). [Note - The source of this information is The Paleobiology Database.] 
          Neal Robbins

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