Mammoth vs Mastodon – Difference and Comparison

Mammoths were bigger and heavier compared to their predecessors, the mastodons, and closer in appearance and united states constitution to elephants today. Mastodons had cusps on their molars, which chiefly distinguished them from the mammoth american samoa well as elephants who have ridged molars. Both species lived in the internal-combustion engine age, and briefly coexisted before the mastodons became extinct .

Physical Characteristics

Mammoths were a species of the extinct genus Mammuthus, while mastodons were a species of the extinct genus Mammut. Both were brawny, four-legged mammals with a luggage compartment, curved tusks and a tail. This video recording on the exhibits of the Field Museum throws more light on the differences between these two giants of the ice age :


Mammoths were heavier, weighing between 5.4 to 13 tons, with an pornographic acme between 2.5 to four meters at the shoulder.

Mastodons weighed between 5 to 8 tons and grew up to about 2.3 to 2.8 meters at the shoulder .


Mammoths had sparse to lanate fur and a short tail, unlike the long, brown, bushy fur of the long and hairy-tailed mastodons. At five to eight tons, and only 2.3 to 2.8 meters at the shoulder, mastodons weighed less and were shorter .


The gigantic had a high, top out head and large ears. Mastodons on the other hand had a low, long skull with belittled ears .


Another significant distinguish sport between the gigantic and the mastodon was their teeth. Mammoths had ridged molars that allowed them to cut through vegetation, similar to contemporary elephants. besides similar to the contemporary elephant, mammoths had developed six sets of enamel plates as teeth in their life. The animals died of starvation when these were worn off. Mastodons — literally, “ nipple tooth ” — had conic cusp on their molars, exchangeable to those of a bull. This allowed them to crush twigs, leaves and branches. Mastodons entirely had one set up of teeth, and there ‘s no tell that they wore down like mammoth teeth .
Mammoth teeth (left) and mastodon teeth (right). magnify Mammoth teeth ( left ) and mastodon teeth ( right ) .

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Period on Earth

The mammoth lived from the Pliocene epoch, about two million years ago, into the Holocene senesce. Most mammoth became extinct 10,000 years ago. Some smaller flocculent mammoths, one of the species of mammoths, lived on an isolate island until 3750 BC. The mastodon pre-dated the mammoth, although there was overlap. Mastodons lived from the late Miocine era, about 5.3 million years ago to the late Pleistocene era, which ended 10,000 years ago. Mastodons became extinct 10,000 years ago.

The accurate reason why both species became extinct is unknown. Scientists have attributed it to climate change and over-hunting .
Evolution of the modern elephant. development of the modern elephant .

The Decline of Wolly Mammoths

Scientists found that DNA mutations accumulated in gigantic populations, degrading their genomes and finally leading to their extinction. A BBC News history covering the inquiry reported that

The last woolly mammoths to walk the Earth were so wracked with genetic disease that they lost their sense of smell, shunned company, and had a strange shiny coat. Scientists think the genetic mutations may have given the last woolly mammoths “silky, shiny satin fur”. Mutations may have also led to a loss of olfactory receptors, responsible for the sense of smell, as well as substances in urine involved in social status and attracting a mate.


Mammoths were were herbivore grazers native to Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. Their habitat was the mammoth steppe, a periglacial landscape with ample herb and grass vegetation. They grazed on leaves, shrubs, grasses and herbs. Mastodons were native to Africa, Europe and Asia, and by and by migrated to the Americas. Forest dwellers feeding on sylvan vegetation, mastodons were herbivores, both grazers and browsers. In addition to shrubs and grasses, they besides grazed trees, mosses and twigs .

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Mammoths lived 60 to 80 years, depending on their teeth. Mastodons lived for approximately 60 years .

Social Hierarchy

Both the gigantic and the mastodon had a social structure like to each early and to that of contemporary elephants. The females lived in herds with the young. These herds were headed by a matriarch. Bulls lived lone lives or in loose groups with early bulls.


The gigantic and the mastodon deviate in categorization at the family level. The gigantic belongs to the Elephantidae family and Mammuthus genus. The mastodon belongs to the Mammutidae class and Mammut genus. There were several species of gigantic :

  • M. primigenius: the woolly mammoth, from late Pleistocene Europe and North America, 2.7 meters tall.
  • M. planifrons: the flat-browed mammoth, from Pleistocene India.
  • M. meridionalis: the southern mammoth, from early Pleistocene Europe – one of the first mammoths, 4.5 meters tall.
  • M. imperator: the imperial mammoth, from early Pleistocene North America, about 2,000,000 years ago, 4 m tall with tusks just as long.
  • M. jeffersoni: the mammoth, from Eurasia.
  • M. columbi: the Columbia mammoth, from late Pleistocene North America, 3.7 meters tall with twisted tusks.
  • M. trogontherii: the steppe mammoth, from middle Pleistocene central Europe, 4.5 meters tall with tusks 5.2-meter-long tusks.
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Species of mastodon were :

  • M. matthewi: found in the Snake Creek Formation of Nebraska, dating from the late Hemphillian.
  • M. raki: differs from M. americanum in having a relatively longer and narrower third molar.
  • M. cosoensis: Found in the Coso Formation of California, dating from the late Pliocene.
  • M. americanum: The American mastodon, the most known and the last species of Mammut, resembled a woolly mammoth in appearance, with a thick coat of shaggy hair.