Stegodon are one of the largest of extinct elephants species (Proboscidean) with adults being 13 feet high at the shoulder, 26 feet long, not including 10 foot long nearly straight tusks. The genus Stegodon, (from Greek stegos: meaning roof, and odon: meaning tooth, referring to the step ridges on the molar tooth) has its origins in the late Miocene of Asia and belongs to the family Stegodontidae. There are 6 recognized species. Stegodons probably originated from Gomphothierium, and developed into a new direction with increase molar size and ridge-like dental features. The tusks were so close together that the trunk probably did not lye between them but instead draped over. Stegodon moved into Africa in the Pliocene and is regarded as the ancestor to present day elephants, as well as the extinct mammoths. The oldest finds of Stegodon are found in Asia and are dated to about 10 millions years (Late Miocene) but may have persisted to as recently as 15,000 years ago. Stegodon diet consists of branches and foliage of trees.
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