Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Mastodon and Mammoth

Mastodon vs Mammoth

Mammals are animals which possess hair, are air breathing, and have mammary and sweat glands. The mammalian species is divided into two classes: Prototheria (egg layers) and Theria which consists of the marsupials and placentals.

Placentals are mammals that have a placenta which feeds their offspring while still in the womb of the mothers. Humans and most animals are placentals, including elephants, which are closely related and resemble two extinct mammals, the mastodons and the mammoths.

Mastodons were a large, tusked mammal species of the animal genus Mammut which existed until about 11,000 years ago. They roamed the ancient prairies of Asia, Africa, Europe, Central America, and North America. The earliest fossil was discovered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo although some have also been found in England, the Netherlands, Greece, Romania, Central America, and North America.

Mastodons were browsers; they fed on foliage and the leaves of trees. Their teeth were cone shaped and blunt which were suitable for eating and chewing foliage. Their tusks were short and slender which curved upwards. Their skulls were flat and large, and their heads were located only a few inches from their backbones and did not stay upright. They were also shorter and lighter than the other extinct, large mammal, the mammoth.

Mammoths were more closely related to the modern elephant. They belonged to the genus Mammuthus and the Elephantidae family. They lived some 4.8 million yeas ago and became extinct some 4,500 years ago. Their tusks were long, thick, and curved. In some species they had a covering of long hair. Their heads were upright and were the highest point of their bodies unlike that of the mastodons’.

They were large, measuring up to five meters in height and weighing at least eight tons. Mammoths were grazers; they fed on the grass, algae, and herbs. They had high-crowned teeth which were ideal for eating grass and other low-lying plants. They had the same social structure as the modern African and Asian elephants, living in herds which were headed by a matriarch or female elephant. The bulls, on the other hand, lived alone and sometimes formed loose groups when they matured.

The word “mastodon” was used by French naturalist Georges Leopole Chretien Frederic Dagobert to refer to the nipple-like projections of the extinct mammal’s teeth. It was derived from the Greek word “mastos” meaning “breast” and “odont” meaning “teeth.”

The word “mammoth,” on the other hand, came from the Russian word “mamot” meaning “earth” where the remains of the extinct mammals were found in the early 1700s. It came to refer to the animal’s large size in the early 1800s.


1.The mastodon was a large, tusked mammal which became extinct 11,000 years ago while the mammoth was also a large, tusked mammal which became extinct 4,500 years ago.
2.The mammoth was larger and heavier than the mastodon.
3.Some species of the mammoth had long hair while mastodons didn’t.
4.The mammoth was more closely related to the modern elephant.

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  1. Pigs don’t have sweat glands. Are they mammals? Or not?

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