Proboscidea (meaning "trunked beast") is an order containing only one familiy of living animals, Elephantidae, the elephants, with three living species (African forest elephant, African bush elephant, and Asian elephant).
Temporal range: late Palaeocene – Recent
The oldest proboscidean dates from the early Palaeogene period, over 50 million years ago. The evolution of the elephant-like animals mainly concerned the proportions of the cranium and jaw and the shape of the tusks and molar teeth. These were adaptations to various kinds of vegetable. food
Present-day elephants are the survivors of a once larger and more varied family.
- ↑ Shoshani, Jeheskel; Wilson, Don E. and Reeder, DeeAnn M. (eds) 2005. Mammal species of the world. 3rd ed, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2 vols, pp. 90-91. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0
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