American Mastodons shared their Pleistocene homes with Mammoths. Though they both belong to the order Proboscidea, Mastodons are classed in the ancient and now completely extinct family of Mammutidae, while Mammoths shared the family of modern Elephants, Elephantidae. The American Mastodon was only the last of the Mastodon line. Members of the family appeared in Africa nearly 40 million years ago, and other species existed in Europe in Asia until about 2 million years ago.
|Mastodon Tooth (Image Source)|
Just this past Sunday it was reported that a new skull of what is believed to be a Mastodon was found in a mine in New Mexico. It measured eight feet long. Unfortunately, the skull crumbled during the excavation process, and will now be painstakingly reassembled. Mastodon fossils are relatively common throughout the United States, especially in the Midwest. A majority of these sites contain Mastodons dated between 40,000 and 11,000 years.