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The Past

20 - 2 million years ago

The tetralophodon is one of the c. 300 extinct members of the order Proboscidea, the only survivors of which today are the Indian and African elephants. Tetralophodon comes from the Greek tetra, meaning 'four', lophos, meaning 'ridge' and dontos, meaning 'tooth', and received its name from the fact that the molars of this sub-genus of what we commonly call a mastodon (suborder Mastodontoidea) had four transverse ridges. These were big animals, standing about 3 m tall at the shoulder! Some of the males had upper incisors over 2 m long. In the 1960s K.W. Glennie discovered the tooth of a Tetralophodon at Jebel Barakah.

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