Change Project

By: Abby Dell

Evolution of the Elephant

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Elephants are classified as a Proboscidea. Proboscidea's are classified as animals with a trunk.


The Moeritherium was the first step in the elephant evolution. It lived 50 million years ago, and is considered an ancestor to all present day elephants. It had a pig-like body and was only 70 cm tall. Even though it resembled them and was semi-aquatic they aren't related to hippos at all.


The Phiomia was alive about 36 million years ago. It was the second step in elephant evolution. Some characteristics were it was about 2-3 meters high, it lived in swamps, it fed on water plants, it had a trunk, and it had tusks inside its trunk.


Palaeomastodon's were members of the Proboscidea family. They lived roughly 35 million years ago. The Palaeomastodon's were characterized as having short upper and lower tusks, the lower tusks were used to scoop plants out of swampy water, they were 3 to 6 feet tall, they weighed up to 2 tons, and, of course, they had a trunk


The Mastodon lived roughly 7 million years ago. They were characterized by being about the same size as modern elephants/mammoths but with more muscle, they had fur as well, the had large upper tusks, small lower tusks, they only had two molars at a time, and a trunk


Mammoths started to show up around 4 millions years ago. You could identify one by looking for the following traits they had large bumps on their heads, both male and females had tusks, their tusks were up to 13 feet long, They were the same size as today's elephants, and they had trunks with two finger like projections (this is similar to the African elephants today).

African Elephants

African elephants are the most recent type of elephants, and they roam the earth now. They live in the African plains and are the largest land mammals on the earth. They can be 7.5 meters long, 3.3 meters high, 6 tons in weight, they have extremely large ears, 2 protruding tusks, and a trunk.