Proboscidea are an order of mammals instantly recognisable by their highly developed 'nose' or proboscis - a muscular trunk that functions as a fifth limb. The three modern elephant species are all that remain of these once widespread, large herbivores. Mastodons and closely related mammoths survived right up until 10,000 years ago, so would have been hunted by early humans. Proboscideans sport impressive tusks derived from the upper incisors. Used for foraging and fighting, these grew to spectacular proportions in the mammoths. The largest Proboscidea species ever, which was about 30% larger than today's African elephant, was probably the Songhua River mammoth.
Scientific name: Proboscidea
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
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