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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/510

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Essex gives a length of nine feet ten inches along the outer curve, and two feet five inches in circumference at the thickest part. Another specimen weighed one hundred and sixty pounds; and a dredged specimen taken off Dungeness was eleven feet long. The mammoth's tusks have long formed articles of commerce and barter in Siberia; the ivory, as Professor Owen remarks, being "so little altered as to be fit for the purposes of manufacture." The mammoth's extensive range forms not the least noteworthy point in its history. It certainly roamed farther abroad, so far as we know, than any other elephantine form. Its remains occur in Britain and in Europe generally; they have been found on the Mediterranean coast and in Siberia; and they are met with in North America as well. In Scotland and in Ireland the mammoth was apparently less plentiful, but its remains occur in these countries, where, indeed, no other elephantine remains are found. It may be added that the molar teeth of the mammoth are by no means unlike those of the Indian elephant in the arrangement and pattern of its enamel plates.

Another extinct elephant, equally famous with the mammoth, was the Mastodon—a name given to these animals in allusion to the nipple-like projections seen on the surface of the molar teeth. Their remains occur in Europe, Asia, and in North and South America. In the morasses of Ohio and Kentucky, for example, whole skeletons of these interesting elephants have been discovered. The length of the mastodon in some cases exceeded sixteen feet; and the tusks have been found to measure twelve feet in length. Over a dozen species of mastodons have been described, but they agree in certain important characters which serve to distinguish them from other elephants. Thus, the roughened teeth appear to have been adapted for bruising coarse herbs and leaves—indeed, associated with mastodon remains in America collections of leaves have been found occupying the situation in which the stomach of the animal would have been situated, and thus indicating the dietary of these extinct giants. Furthermore, a most important difference between the mastodons and other elephants is found in the fact that these animals possessed two tusks springing from the lower jaw, in addition to the tusks with which, as in ordinary elephants, the upper jaw was provided. But it would seem that these lower tusks never attained a large size, while it is probable that they fell out when the animal attained the adult period of its existence.

More extraordinary still, in respect of its variations from the ordinary structure of the elephants, was the Dinotherium (Fig. 4), the fossil remains of which occur in Europe and in India. The skull of a dinotherium has been found to measure four feet in length, while a thigh-bone was five feet three inches long. Thus, in so far as size is concerned, the dinotherium may claim a foremost place among its elephantine cousins. But various circumstances seem to suggest that the latter animal departed from the elephant type in certain important