Stegodon airawana
molar from Sangiran, Java.
Nat. History Museum Vienna
(Photo © Jutta Kirchner, Vienna Zoo)

The genus Stegodon, (from Greek stegos: meaning roof, and odon: meaning tooth, refering to the step ridges on the molar tooth) belongs to belongs to the family Stegodontidae (which belongs to the true Mastodons, Mastodontoidea), and has its origins in the late Miocene of Asia.

Stegodon probably origin from Gomphothierium, and developed into a new direction with molar increase in size and ridgelike dental features.

Stegodon moved into Africa in the Pliocene and coexisted in Asia with the asian elephant Elephas throughout Pleistocene in southern China (Takahashi & Namatsu 2000).

Stegodon was regarded as both the present elephants, as well as the mammoths ancestor in the past, lately they are regarded as a sidefork from the Mastodons.


Extern links

Comparisons of stegodon and elephantid abundances in the Late Pleistocene of southern China H. Saegusa Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Sanda, Hyogo, Japan (PDF)

Elephant Encyclopedia and database

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