Gomphothere

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Gomphotheres
Temporal range: 12–.006 MaMiocene - Holocene
Platybelodon skeleton in a Hubei, China, museum
Scientific classification e
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Synapsida
Class:Mammalia
Order:Proboscidea
Superfamily:Gomphotherioidea
Family:Gomphotheriidae
Genera [1]

Gnathabelodon Barbour & Sternberg, 1935
Choerolophodon Schlesinger, 1917
Gomphotherium Burmeister, 1837
Archaeobelodon Tassy, 1984
Serbelodon Frick, 1933
Protanancus Arambourg, 1945
Amebelodon Barbour, 1927
Platybelodon Borissiak, 1928
Sinomastodon Tobien et al., 1986
Eubelodon Barbour 1914
Rhynchotherium Falconer, 1868
Cuvieronius Osborn, 1923
Stegomastodon Pohlig, 1912
Haplomastodon Hoffstetter, 1950
Notiomastodon Cabrera, 1929

 
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Gomphotheres
Temporal range: 12–.006 MaMiocene - Holocene
Platybelodon skeleton in a Hubei, China, museum
Scientific classification e
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Synapsida
Class:Mammalia
Order:Proboscidea
Superfamily:Gomphotherioidea
Family:Gomphotheriidae
Genera [1]

Gnathabelodon Barbour & Sternberg, 1935
Choerolophodon Schlesinger, 1917
Gomphotherium Burmeister, 1837
Archaeobelodon Tassy, 1984
Serbelodon Frick, 1933
Protanancus Arambourg, 1945
Amebelodon Barbour, 1927
Platybelodon Borissiak, 1928
Sinomastodon Tobien et al., 1986
Eubelodon Barbour 1914
Rhynchotherium Falconer, 1868
Cuvieronius Osborn, 1923
Stegomastodon Pohlig, 1912
Haplomastodon Hoffstetter, 1950
Notiomastodon Cabrera, 1929

The Gomphotheriidae were a diverse taxonomic family of extinct elephant-like animals (proboscideans) — referred to as gomphotheres. They were widespread in North America during the Miocene and Pliocene epochs, 12-1.6 million years ago. Some lived in parts of Eurasia, Beringia and, following the Great American Interchange, South America. Beginning about 5 million years ago, they were gradually replaced by modern elephants, but the last two South American species, in the genus Cuvieronius, did not finally become extinct until possibly as recently as 9,100 BP,[2] and Stegomastodon remains have been dated as recently as 6,060 BP in the Valle del Magdalena, Colombia.[3] Gomphotheres also survived in Mexico and Central America until the end of the Pleistocene.[4]

Contents

Description

Gomphotheres differed from elephants in their tooth structure, particularly the chewing surfaces on the molar teeth. Most had four tusks, and their retracted facial and nasal bones prompt paleontologists to believe that gomphotheres had elephant-like trunks. The early gomphotheres, such as Phiomia, had elongated upper and lower jaws, with relatively short tusks. Two lineages appear to have arisen from these ancestors. One, including animals such as Anancus, developed the short lower jaw typical of modern elephants, while the others, including Platybelodon, developed the lower jaw into an elongated 'shovel', and shortened the upper jaw.[5]

Taxonomy

Both the genus Gomphotherium and family Gomphotheriidae were erected by the German zoologist Karl Hermann Konrad Burmeister (1807-1892) in 1837.

In 1933, Serbelodon burnhami (now Amebelodon burnhami) was discovered and named after the celebrated scout Frederick Russell Burnham.[6]

The systematics and phylogeny of gomphotheres are unclear and the group might in fact be paraphyletic — i.e., may not include all known descendants of their common ancestor. The genus Gnathabelodon is often placed in its own family, the Gnathabelodontidae, and Archaeobelodon, Protanancus, Amebelodon, Platybelodon and Serbelodon are sometimes regrouped in a separate family, the Amebelodontidae. The genera Anancus, Tetralophodon, Stegomastodon, Paratetralophodon and Cuvieronius are placed by some authors within the gomphotheres, while others consider them as true Elephantidae.[citation needed]

Associations with early human sites

Gomphothere remains are common at South American Paleo-indian sites.[7] Examples include the early human settlement at Monte Verde, Chile, dating to approximately 14,000 years ago, and the Valle del Magdalena, Colombia.[3] Remains were also found in the El Fin del Mundo site in Sonora, Mexico's clovis location - the first time such an association was found in a part of the continent where gomphotheres were thought to have gone extinct 30,000 years ago.[5][dead link]

Gallery

Gomphotherium angustidens  
Molar tooth of Tetralophodon  

References

  1. ^ Shoshani, Jeheskel; Pascal Tassy (2005). "Advances in proboscidean taxonomy & classification, anatomy & physiology, and ecology & behavior". Quaternary International 126-128: 5-20. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2004.04.011. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Rafael O. Labarca and Patrick G. Lopez, “Los mamíferos finipleistocénicos de la Formación Quebrada Quereo (IV Región-Chile): biogeografía, bioestratigrafía e inferencias paleoambientales”, Mastozoología Neotropical, Volume 13, Number 1, (June 2006), 89-101
  3. ^ a b Rodríguez-Flórez, Carlos David; Ernesto León Rodríguez-Flórez y Carlos Armando Rodríguez (2009). "Revision of Pleistocenic Gomphotheriidae Fauna in Colombia and case report in the Department of Valle Del Cauca". Scientific Bulletin (Museum Center - Natural History Museum) 13 (2): 78–85. http://200.21.104.25/boletincientifico/downloads/Boletin13(2)_COMPLETO.pdf. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  4. ^ Graham, R. W. (2001). ​709.pdf "Late Quaternary Biogeography and Extinction of Proboscideans in North America". In Cavarretta, G.; Gioia, P.; Mussi, M. et al.. The World of Elephants (La Terra degli Elefanti) - Proceedings of the 1st International Congress (Atti del 1� Congresso Internazionale), Rome October 16-20 2001. Rome: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche. pp. 707–709. ISBN 88-8080-025-6. http://www.sovraintendenzaroma.it/content/download/4925/63042/file/707_ ​709.pdf 
  5. ^ a b Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. pp. 239–242. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 
  6. ^ Osborn, Henry Fairfield (June 29 1933). "Serbelodon Burnhami, a new Shovel-Tusker from California". American Museum Novitates (639): 1–5. http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/dspace/bitstream/2246/2061/1/N0639.pdf. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  7. ^ Prado, J. L.; Alberdi, M. T.; Azanza, B.; Sánchez, B.; Frassinetti, D. (2005). "The Pleistocene Gomphotheriidae (Proboscidea) from South America". Quaternary International (Elsevier) 126-128: 21–30. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2004.04.012. 

External links