Life-size reconstructions of Stegodon, copyright Vjdchauhan.

Belongs within: Proboscidea.
Contains: Elephantidae.

The proboscidean clade Elephantida unites the paraphyletic ‘gomphotheres’ with the living Elephantidae: essentially, all proboscideans closer to modern elephants than the mastodons (Mammutidae). As recognised here, the Elephantida are first recorded in the Miocene of Africa, subsequently spreading to Eurasia and the Americas. Subgroups include the Amebelodontidae of the Miocene and Pliocene which had a distinctive elongate lower jaw ending in shovel-shaped tusks.

Synapomorphies (from Tassy & Shoshani 1988): Lacrimal foramen generally not opened in the orbit at maturity; palatine with reduced spina nasalis posterior; external nasal opening enlarged laterally; enlarged tritolophid on M1-2; cement on crowns of teeth; deep bicipital groove on humerus and higher trochanter; carpus and metacarpus less cursorial; lunar with enlarged articular surface for ulna.

<==Elephantida [Amebelodontinae, Gomphotheriidae, Gomphotheriinae, Gomphotherioidea]
    |--Choerolophodon Schlessinger 1917TS88, CM78
    |    `--C. palaeindicusSKR04
    |    |--Archaeobelodon Tassy 1984SM93
    |    |--SerbelodonTS88
    |    |--GnathabelodonTS88
    |    |--Amebelodon Barbour 1927D07
    |    |    |--A. brittiD07
    |    |    `--A. floridanusD07
    |    `--Platybelodon Borissiak 1928TS88, CM78
    |         |--*P. danoviCM78
    |         |--P. filholiCM78
    |         `--P. grangeriCM78
       |  |    |--S. platensisFS15
       |  |    `--S. waringiFS15
       |  `--Cuvieronius Osborn 1923FS15, D07 [Cuvieroninae]
       |       |--C. hyodonD07
       |       `--C. tropicusD07
          |    |--ElephantidaeSW06
          |    `--StegodontidaeSW06
          |         |--Stegolophodon Schlesinger 1917TS88, SM93
          |         `--Stegodon Falconer 1857SM93
          |              |  i. s.: S. ganesaKS91
          |              |         S. insignisKS91
          |              |         S. kaisensisCM78
          |              |--S. florensisFS15
          |              `--+--S. orientalisFS15
          |                 `--S. trigonocephalusFS15
          `--+--Tetralophodon Falconer & Cautley 1857TS88, CM78
             |    |--T. exoletusDW04
             |    |--T. longirostrisCM78
             |    `--‘Mastodon’ mirificusC77
             `--Anancus Aymard 1855 [incl. Pentalophodon Falconer & MacInnes 1942; Anancinae]CM78
                  |--*A. arvernensis [=Mastodon arvernensis]CM78
                  |--A. jebtebsusD07
                  |--A. kenyensis (MacInnes 1942) [=Pentalophodon sivalensis kenyensis]CM78
                  |--A. osiris Arambourg 1945CM78
                  `--A. petrocchii Coppens 1965 [=A. (Pentalophodon) petrocchii]CM78
Elephantida incertae sedis:
  Afrochoerodon kisumuensisSKR04
  Gomphotherium Burmeister 1837TS88, CM78 (see below for synonymy)
    |--*G. angustidens (Cuvier 1806)CM78 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |--G. a. angustidensCM78
    |    `--G. a. pontileviensisCM78
    |--G. ngorora Maglio 1974CM78
    |--G. productumCM78
    `--G. pygmaeus (Depéret 1897) (see below for synonymy)CM78

Gomphotherium Burmeister 1837TS88, CM78 [incl. Bunolophodon Vacek 1877CM78, Serridentinus Osborn 1923CM78, Trilophodon Falconer & Cautley 1857CM78]

*Gomphotherium angustidens (Cuvier 1806)CM78 [=Mastodon angustidensCM78; incl. Trilophodon angustidens kisumuensis MacInnes 1942CM78, Ma. angustidens var. libyca Fourtau 1918CM78, Gomphotherium angustidens libycusCM78, Protanancus macinnesi Arambourg 1945CM78, Moeritherium pandionis Pilgrim 1912CB78, Trilophodon pandionisDRM86, Mastodon spenceri Fourtau 1918CM78]

Gomphotherium pygmaeus (Depéret 1897) [=Mastodon angustidens pygmaeus, Phiomia pygmaeus, Trilophodon olisponensis pygmaeus]CM78

*Type species of generic name indicated


[C77] Cope, E. D. 1877. Report upon the extinct Vertebrata obtained in New Mexico by parties of the expedition of 1874. Geographical Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian 4 (2): i–iv, 1–370.

[CB78] Coppens, Y., & M. Beden 1978. Moeritherioidea. In: Maglio, V. J., & H. B. S. Cooke (eds) Evolution of African Mammals pp. 333–335. Harvard University Press: Cambridge (Massachusetts).

[CM78] Coppens, Y., V. J. Maglio, C. T. Madden & M. Beden. 1978. Proboscidea. In: Maglio, V. J., & H. B. S. Cooke (eds) Evolution of African Mammals pp. 336–367. Harvard University Press: Cambridge (Massachusetts).

[DW04] Deng T., Wang X., Ni X. & Liu L. 2004. Sequence of the Cenozoic mammalian faunas of the Linxia Basin in Gansu, China. Acta Geologica Sinica (English Edition) 78 (1): 8–14.

[D07] Dixon, D. 2007. The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures. Hermes House: London.

[DRM86] Domning, D. P., C. E. Ray & M. C. McKenna. 1986. Two new Oligocene desmostylians and a discussion of tethytherian systematics. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 59: 1–56.

[FS15] Faurby, S., & J.-C. Svenning. 2015. A species-level phylogeny of all extant and late Quaternary extinct mammals using a novel heuristic-hierarchical Bayesian approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 14–26.

[KS91] Kennedy, K. A. R., A. Sonakia, J. Chiment & K. K. Verma. 1991. Is the Narmada hominid an Indian Homo erectus? American Journal of Physical Anthropology 86: 475–496.

[SKR04] Sanders, W. J., J. Kappelman & D. T. Rasmussen. 2004. New large-bodied mammals from the late Oligocene site of Chilga, Ethiopia. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 49 (3): 365–392.

[SW06] Shoshani, J., R. C. Walter, M. Abraha, S. Berhe, P. Tassy, W. J. Sanders, G. H. Marchant, Y. Libsekal, T. Ghirmai & D. Zinner. 2006. A proboscidean from the late Oligocene of Eritrea, a “missing link” between early Elephantiformes and Elephantimorpha, and biogeographical implications. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 103 (46): 17296–17301.

[SM93] Stucky, R. K., & M. C. McKenna. 1993. Mammalia. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 739–771. Chapman & Hall: London.

[TS88] Tassy, P., & J. Shoshani. 1988. The Tethytheria: elephants and their relatives. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Phylogeny and Classification of the Tetrapods vol. 2. Mammals pp. 283–315. Clarendon Press: Oxford.

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