STL Science Center

STL Science Center

06 November 2015

The Less Woolly Cousin

(C) Charles R. Knight
This blog has covered many woolly mammals. We are going to continue discussing mammals, of course, because I said that November would be a mammal month. This makes some good friends of mine happy. Making them even happier, this week is going to be all about a Proboscidean. We have previously spent a week on Woolly Mammoths, but this week we will be talking about the less famous, but equally important genus Mammut. The genus Mammut includes four recognized species: M. americanum Kerr, 1972 (type specimen Elephas americanum was reassigned to Mammut); M. matthewi Osborn, 1921; M. raki Frick, 1933; and M. cosoensis Schultz, 1937. These species are all from the Late Miocene/Pliocene spanning to the Late Pleistocene and lived in North and Central America and are distantly related to elephants, at most. I hope this week we can get some professional communication from people that have studied mammoths and mastodons, because there are some important differences between the two and having a technical comparison would be a neat treat to say the least.

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