Mastodons were a genus of animals, related to elephants
and Mammoths, that lived from about 4 million years ago
through to almost 6,000 years ago.
Although they outwardly resembled Mammoths, Mastodons
were in fact distinct from them - Mastodons were browsing
herbivores (principally eating leaves from trees and shrubs) whereas Mammathos
were grazers (eating grasses).
Mastodons were around 10 feet (3 meters) tall at the shoulder, and equipped
with long horizontal tusks, which could be as long as 16 feet (5 meters).
The tusks are believed to have been used for breaking branches and twigs when feeding,
and, by males, in competitions for mates.
Differences between Mastodons and Mammoths, include
a thinner woolly coat, different shaped teeth, and nearly horizontal tusks (whereas
Mammoth tusks tended to be more curved).
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