Difference Between Mammoth and Mastodon (With Table)

Mammoths and Mastodons are two different species that belong to the Proboscidean family. Although both species lived together in the ice age before the extinction of the mastodons, they have significantly distinct traits, which assure that they are not the same species. Mammoths and Mastodons are different on several grounds, such as physical characteristics, height, weight, family of origin, habitat and the like. 

Mammoth vs Mastodon 

The difference between Mammoths and mastodons is that mammoths refer to a species of the extinct genus Mammuthus. On the other hand, Mastodons refer to a species of the extinct genus Mammuthus. Moreover, mammoths were grazers with molars specially adapted for eating woody browsers, whereas mastodons were wood browsers with molars specially adapted for eating grass. 

Mammoth refers to a species of the extinct genus Mammuthus. They belong to the family of Elephantidae. A mammoth has long, curvy tusks, a short tail, large ears, and a high, peaked head; The weight of mammoth ranges from 5.4 to 13 tons with a height of 8 to 12ft. In addition, mammoths were grazers with molars specially adapted for eating grass. 

Mastodons refer to a species of the extinct genus Mammut, belonging to a family of Mammutidae. A mastodon has long, curvy tusks, a long, hairy tail, small ears, and a low head. The weight of a mastodon ranges from 5 to 8 tons with a height of 7 to 8ft. In addition, mastodons were wood browsers with molars specially adapted for eating woody browse. 

Comparison Table Between Mammoth and Mastodon

Parameters of ComparisonMammothMastodon
Definition Mammoth refers to a species of the now-extinct genus Mammuthus.Mastodons refers to a species of the  now-extinct genus Mammut.
Lifespan60-80 years 60 years 
Weight5400 to 11790 kg 4535 to 7260 kg 
Height2.4 to 3.6 metres2.1 to 2.4 metres 
Tailshort long, hairy 
Earslargesmall
Headhigh, peaked long, low 
HabitatThe mammoth habitat was the Mammoth steppe, a landscape with rich herb and grass vegetationThe habitat of mastodons was a Forest dwelling, wherein the mastodon fed on sylvan vegetation. 
FamilyElephantidaeMammutidae

What is Mammoth?

Mammoth refers to a species of the extinct genus Mammuthus, first encountered in Africa about 5.1 million years ago. They belong to the family of Elephantidae. A Mammoth, along with long, curvy tusks, a short tail, large ears, and a high, peaked head, had sparse to woolly fur. The weight of a mammoth range from 5.4 to 13 tons with a height of 8 to 12ft. In addition, mammoths were grazers with molars specially adapted for eating grass. 

The habitat of a mammoth is the Mammoth steppe, which is a periglacial landscape with grass vegetation and rich herb. Mammoths, primarily inhabiting the northern, ice-covered regions, possessed fatty humps on their backs that endowed them with essential nutrients to survive in cold conditions. They lived from the Pliocene epoch to the Holocene period on Earth. 

Mammoths had a life of 60-80 years. They first came into being discovered in Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America. This species of organisms perished about 10,000 years ago. In addition, mammoths stand closer to the present day elephants in their appearance and constitution.

What is Mastodon? 

Mastodons refer to a species of the extinct genus Mammut, discovered on the planet about 27 to 30 million years ago. A mastodon, with long, curvy tusks, a long, hairy tail, small ears, and a low, long head, belongs to the family of Mammutidae. The weight of a mastodon ranges from 5 to 8 tons with a height of 7 to 8ft. In addition, mastodons were wood browsers with molars specially adapted for eating woody browse. 

The mastodons were native to North and Central America. The habitat of a mastodon is a forest-dwelling, with mastodons feeding on sylvan vegetation. They lived from the late Miocene to the Pleistocene period on Earth. Mastodons were shorter and stockier than mammoths. Their name coincided with the shape of their teeth. Mastodon originates from Masto that is breast in Greek, and Odon is teeth in Greek. 

 Mastodons perished about 10,000 years ago. There are several reasons for their extinction. However, the most significant reason was the mastodon’s inability to cope up with the increasing temperatures. Hunting of these animal species was another reason for their extinction. 

Main Differences Between Mammoth and Mastodon

  1. Mammoths refer to a species of the extinct genus Mammuthus. On the other hand, mastodons refer to a species of the extinct genus Mammut. 
  2. Mammoths belong to the family of Elephantidae; mastodons belong to the family of Mammutidae. 
  3.  A mammoth has a short tail, large ears, and a high, peaked head. In contrast, a mastodon has a long hairy tail, small ears, and a low, heightened head.
  4. The mammoth had a weight of 5.4 to 13 tons and a height of 8 to 12 ft. The mastodon had a weight of 5 to 8 tons and a height of 7 to 8ft. 
  5. Mammoths arose about 5.1 million years ago in Africa. In contrast, mastodons came into existence about 27 to 30 million years ago.
  6. The mammoth habitat is a Mammoth steppe-periglacial landscape with rich herb and grass vegetation. On the other hand, the habitat of a mastodon is a forest-dwelling, with mastodons feeding on sylvan vegetation.

Conclusion

It is, therefore, justifiable to conclude that mammoths and mastodons are different from one another. Mammoths were larger and heavier than mastodons and stood closer to the present day elephants in their appearance and constitution. Mammoths, with short tails, large ears, and high, peaked heads, arose about 5.1 million years ago in Africa. Mastodons, on the other hand, came into existence about 27 to 30 million years ago. Mammoths lived from the Pliocene epoch to the Holocene period on the Earth. Mastodons, in contrast, lived from the late Miocene to the Pleistocene period on the Earth. Thus, the differences between mammoths and mastodons are prominent to summarise that the organisms are distinct. 

References

  1. https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520253193/mammoths 
  2. http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/bitstream/handle/2246/7179/guideleaflet043.pdf?sequence=1 
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