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Deinotherium

Deinotherium Lived:20-2 million years ago.Deinotherium remains, particularly their tusks and teeth have been found at the major hominid excavation sites including Hadar, Laetoli, Olduvai Gorge and Lake Turkana.

Type: Deinothere
Diet: Herbivore
Size: Males 4m at the shoulder, females 3.5m
Protection status: Extinct
Pronunciation: dy-noh-THEER-ee-um
Latin name: Deinotherium bozasi
Meaning: "terrible beast"
Animal Type: Mammal - deinothere family
Dietary Type: Herbivorous - Browsed vegetation and stripped bark
Closest Living Relative: Elephants
Size: Males 4m at the shoulder, females 3.5m

The deinotheres were the gigantic cousins of the elephants and flourished at the time of Australopithecus. Tusks in the elephant family varied in shape and size as they adapted for different purposes. Wear marks on the downward curved tusks of Deinotherium suggest that they were probably used for stripping tree bark.

The deinotheres are little known but gigantic cousins of the elephants that flourished at the time of the australopithecines. Their fossils are often found while searching for australopithecine remains. Tusks and teeth preserve particularly well, so relatives of the elephants are quite well known from fossils.

Unlike today there were once many members of the group with differently shaped tusks, each adapted for use in a different way. Deinotherium had downwards pointing tusks that seem to have been used for stripping tree bark.

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