10 Honest Difference Between Mastodon and Mammoth with Table

What is the difference between mastodon and mammoth?

Mastodon and mammoth belong to the same family which is the proboscidean family. The two belong to different species. Both species have been extinct.

They have a lot in common but they also show some differences both in appearance and behavior. Although many have confused the two and refer to them as one, they are different from each other.

The main difference between mastodons and mammoths is that mastodons were comparatively smaller and lighter while mammoths were larger and heavier.

Difference Between Mastodon and Mammoth

Comparison Table (Mastodon vs Mammoth)

CharacteristicsMastodonMammoth
SizeThey were comparatively smaller and lighter.They were heavier and larger.
OriginTheir origin was in Africa, Europe, Asia Then migrated to North America and South America.Their origin was in Africa, Europe, Asia and North America.
HeadTheir head was low and long.Their head was high and peaked.
EarsThey had small ears.They had large ears.
TailsThey had a long and hairy tails.They had a short tails.
TeethTheir molars were cusped.They had a series of enamel plates and ridged molars.
What they fed onThey were both browsers and grazers.They were only grazers.
HabitatThey inhabited forests.They inhabited mammoth steppe; periglacial landscape.
FurThey had long, brown, shaggy fur.They had sparse to woolly fur.
LifespanThey lived for 60 years.They lived between 60 to 80 years.

What is Mastodon?

A mastodon is an extinct group of mammal species related to the elephant’s family. Their origin was in Africa, Europe, Asia then migrated to North and South America. They lived there up to the time they were extinct 10,000 years ago.

Mastodons had long, brown, shaggy fur with long and hairy tails. They were shorter and weighed less on their shoulders.

Their heads were low, long skulls, and also had small ears. They had cone-shaped cusps on their molars similar to those of a pig. This made them be both browsers and grazers as they were able to crush both leaves and twigs.

As they were both grazers and browsers, they inhabited forests where they could get accessed to both leaves and twigs.

They had a social hierarchy where females lived in herds with their young ones. The bulls lived solitary lives or in loose groups.

What is a Mammoth?

Mammoth is a species of extinct genus Mammuthus. Their origin was in Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America. They were extinct 10,000 years ago.

Mammoths were heavier weighing about 13 tons with an adult height of about 2.5 meters high. They had sparse to wooly fur and a short tail.

They had ridged molars and this allowed them to cut vegetation. They had developed six plates of enamel plates as teeth in their lifetime. The plates were worn out and the animals died of starvation.

They were herbivores but only grazers. They could only feed on vegetation that is found low on the ground. This made them inhabit the mammoth steppe; a periglacial landscape rich in herbs and grass vegetation.

They had a social structure that made them live together as one. The females lived in herds with young ones although the males either lived a solitary life or loose group life.

They were of several species with different physical appearances and behavior.

Main Differences between Mastodon and Mammoth

  1. Mastodons were smaller and lighter while mammoths were heavier and larger.
  2. Mastodon’s head was low and long while mammoth’s head was high and peaked.
  3. Mastodons had small ears while mammoths had big ears.
  4. Mastodons had long and hairy tails while mammoths had a short and curved tails.
  5. Mastodon had cusped molars while mammoth had a series of enamel plates with ridged molars.
  6. Mastodons were both browsers and grazers while mammoths were only grazers.

Similarities between Mastodon and Mammoth

  1. They were both extinct 10,000 years ago.
  2. Both had social structures.
  3. Both were muscular animals.
  4. Both were four-legged and had tusks and tails.
  5. Both were herbivores.
  6. Both lived during the ice age.

In Conclusion

Mastodons and mammoths are extinct species of the Mammuthus genus. They lived 10,000 years ago. Although they possessed some similarities, they were also different from each other.

Mastodons were comparatively small and light while mammoths were larger and heavier. Mastodons had cusped molars that enabled them to feed on both leaves and twigs while mammoths had a series of enamel plates that made them only to be able to feed on low vegetation such as leaves.

The main feature that makes mastodons different from mammoths is the size.

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