Temporal range: Paleocene – Holocene
|African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana)|
Elephants (Proboscideans) are a group of large land mammals. They are characterized by a muscular hand-like nose (the trunk), large ears, and ivory tusks. Elephants first evolved about 50mya from the a large group of unspecialized mammals called Condylarths. The elephants were closely related to the rhinoceros-looking Arsinoitherium but had more specialized teeth, but elephants were only very distantly related to the elephant-like Notoungulate Astrapotheres and Pyrotheres of South America. Elephants have lived on every continent except Australia and Antarctica.
Common members include Amebelodon, American Mastodon, Anancus, Archaeobelodon, Archidiskodon, Barytherium, Choerolophodon, Columbian Mammoth, Cuvieronius, Deinotherium, Dwarf Sicilian Elephant, Eritherium, Gnathabelodon, Gomphotherium, Haplomastodon, Kikinda Mammoth, Moeritherium, Palaeoloxodon, Paleomastodon, Pediolophodon, Phanagoroloxodon, Phiomia, Phosphatherium, Platybelodon, Primelephas, Prodeinotherium, Rhynchotherium, Sinomastodon, Stegodon, Stegomastodon, Stegotetrabelodon, Tetralophodon and the Woolly Mammoth.