Mastodon and Mammoth
When I was a little kid, I used to spend hours looking the colored illustrations of an old book my father had. I wondered why the brown and long haired elephant that I saw in the book was different from the others elephants I had seen. Sometime after that, I learned that the strange looking animal was a mammoth. Mammoth, like mastodon, were prehistoric animals related to modern elephants. Although very similar in appearance, there was an amount of differences between mastodon and mammoth. One important thing mammoth and mastodon shared in common is that both of these prehistoric elephants managed to survive well into historical times, as late as 4,000 B.C., and both of them were hunted by early humans. Their outer appearance was alike, they had long tusks, and some of the species had their bodies covered by abundant long hair. It is thought that their gestation period lasted about 22 months. Like elephants, their modern relatives, they had gregarious habits, and also had a vegetarian diet. Mastodon was the more ancient of the two, it appeared about 20 million years ago, whereas that mammoth appeared around 15 million years later. Mastodon’s skull was flatter than mammoth’s one; besides, mastodon was also slightly smaller and bulkier. The tusks of the mammoth could reach lengths up to 13 feet; the tusks of the mastodon were much shorter, reaching 8 feet. While the teeth of the mammoth were prepared for eating grass, like modern cattle, the teeth of the mastodon allowed it to eat twigs and leaves. Mammoth was approximately 12 feet high, and weighted up to 8 tons. On the other hand, the height of a mastodon was 7 to 9 feet, and it weighted up to 6 tons. The most noticeable difference between them was the fatty hump the mammoth had in the neck. Mastodon and mammoth got extinct in the same historical age; however, the latter emerged millions of years after the mastodon. Both of them were enormous, but the...
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