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Platybelodon
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Platybelodon, commonly known as a "shovel tusker," was a huge, plant-eating mammal that lived in herds about 25 million years ago.

Anatomy
Platybelodon was 20 ft (6 m) long, 9 ft (2.8 m) tall at the shoulder and weighed about 4.5 tons (4 tonnes).

Diet, Teeth and Tusks
Platybelodon was an herbivore (plant-eater) that ate leaves. Flat cheek teeth ground up the leaves. This elephant-like browser had a shovel-shaped, scoop-like lower jaw (mandible). This huge mouth had sharp teeth at the front edge; these teeth were likely used for cutting leaves to eat. It also had 2 small, forward and downward-pointing tusks toward the front of the upper jaw, probably used for defense against predators.

Habitat
Platybelodon lived in wet parts of prairies and ate soft plants (including water plants).

When Platybelodon Lived
This prehistoric elephant lived during the middle to late Miocene (roughly 25 million years ago).

Classification
Platybelodon was an early mammal. Class Mammalia (mammals), Order Proboscidea, Suborder Elephantoidea (elephants), Family Gomphothere (closely related to Amebelodon), Genus Platybelodon.

Fossils
Fossils of Platybelodon have been found in North America, eastern Europe, Africa, and northwestern China (these animals probably crossed via the Siberian land bridge between the continents of Asia and North America).





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