6 Difference between Mammoth and Mastodon (With Table)

Mammoths and mastodons are believed to have been related to modern elephants. They have similar features that make them related.

The extinct giants have a lot in common. Both were large and hairy cousins of distant cousins of modern elephants. Both had trunks making them Proboscideans.

However, the two were different from each other although many could not tell the difference between the two.

So, what is the main difference between mammoth and mastodon? Mammoths had shorter and straighter tusks while mastodons were shorter and stockier.

This article is going to give you a clear difference between mammoth and mastodon in tabular form. You will also get to learn more about their similarities.

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Comparison Table (Mammoth vs. Mastodon)

Basic TermsMammothMastodon
Mode of feedingThey were grazers.They were browsers.
MolarsTheir molars have flat surfaces.Their molars have pointed cones.
SizeThey were comparatively smaller in body size.They were larger in body size.
Fatty humpsPossessed fatty humps on their backs.Did not have fatty humps on their backs.
HeadsThey had a distinctive knob on top of their skulls that formed a bulbous protrusion of bone.They had flatter heads.
TusksTheir tusks grew curvy.Their tusks were more linear.

What is a Mammoth?

Mammoth is a member of an extinct group of elephants. They are as large as modern elephants. Many mammoths had a wooly, yellowish-brown undercoat beneath and a coarser outer covering of dark brown hair.

Under the thick skin, was the layer of insulting fat that protected it from the extreme cold in the places where they inhabited.

Their skull was high and dome-like, their ears were small as compared to the modern elephant, The prominent tusks were directed downwards and were very long.

Their dental was made up of alternating plates of enamel, their molars were flat and this made them be grazers feeding on grass.

What is Mastodon?

Mastodon is any of several extinct in the elephant family. They were distributed worldwide. The feature that made them different was the shape of their teeth which made them comfortably feed on leaves.

They are low-crowned, large, and strongly rooted with as many as four prominent ridges separated by deep troughs. The teeth are much smaller and less complex.

Their tusks were long and grew parallel to each other with an upward curvature. Short lower tusks were present in males but absent in females.

They were shorter but heavily built as compared to the modern elephants. Their skull was lower and flatter.

They had smaller ears and were not as prominent as those found on modern elephants. They were covered with long reddish-brown hair.

They did not have fatty humpback for insulation as the mammoth hence they could adapt differently to living in cold climates.

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Main Differences between Mammoth and Mastodon

  1. Mammoths were grazers while mastodons were browsers.
  2. Mammoth flat molars while mastodons had pointed cone molars.
  3. Mammoths were comparatively smaller in body size while mastodons were larger in body size.
  4. Mammoths had fatty humps on their backs while mastodons did not have fatty humps.
  5. Mammoths’ tusks grew curvy while mastodons’ tusks grew more linear.

Similarities between Mammoth and Mastodon

  1. They both had long curved trunks.
  2. Both were tall.
  3. Both were covered in long, shaggy hair.
  4. Both were extinct.
  5. Both belong to the proboscidean family.

Conclusion

Mammoths and mastodons are believed to be common ancestors of modern elephants although they were extinct many years ago.

They both belonged to the proboscidean family as they both possessed tusks. Both were covered in long, shaggy hair and had long curved trunks.

The main difference between mammoth and mastodon is that mammoth was shorter with short legs while mastodons were stockier and shorter.

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