Temporal range: Late Eocene-Early Oligocene, 36–35 Ma
P. beadnelli skull
Scientific classification

Andrews, 1901
  • P. beadnelli
  • P. minor
  • P. parvus
  • P. wintoni

Palaeomastodon an extinct genus of Proboscidea. Palaeomastodon fossils have been found in Africa, lived some 36-35 million years ago. They are believed to be the ancestors of elephants or mastodons.[1]palaeomastodon lived in marshy semi aquatic swamps. Palaeomastodon lived from the middle late Eocene to the early Oligocene. Palaeomastodon may have used its upper pair of tusks for scraping bark off trees. Palaeomastodon was a very early form of the elephantidae and thus had a very short trunk.

Artistic representation by Heinrich Harder
Life reconstruction of Palaeomastodon beadnelli
Artistic representation

Palaeomastodon had tusks, both upper and lower, and it had a trunk. It was about 2.2 metres (7 ft 3 in) tall at the shoulder and weighed about 2.5 tonnes (2.5 long tons; 2.8 short tons).[2] The lower tusks were flat rather than pointed cones, and were probably used to scoop plants from swampy water.

Palaeomastodon was known to have their ears located towards the top of their heads, to make sure their sensory organs remained dry. In addition, their sharp tusks were used as a defense weapon.[3]


  1. ^ The genus Palaeomastodon Archived 2008-10-17 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Larramendi, A. (2016). "Shoulder height, body mass and shape of proboscideans" (PDF). Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 61. doi:10.4202/app.00136.2014.
  3. ^ Osborn, H. F. (1909). "The Feeding Habits of Mœritherium and Palæomastodon". Nature. 81 (2074): 139–140. doi:10.1038/081139a0.