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Status Of North American Gomphotherium


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Has there been any latest word on the systematics of gomphotheriine gomphotheres from North America? As far as I know, Shoshani et al. (2006) list Serridentinus as separate from Gomphotherium in their cladistic analysis of Eritreum, and I've also read that the Gomphotherium from New Mexico could represent multiple species (Heckert et al. 2000), and that Lambert and Shoshani list some North American gomphotheres synonymized with Gomphotherium by Tobien (1973) as distinct from Gomphotherium (e.g. Gnathabelodon, Eubelodon, Megabelodon).

Heckert, A.B., S.G. Lucas and G.S. Morgan (2000). Specimens of Gomphotherium in the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science and the Species-Level Taxonomy of North American Gomphotherium. In: New Mexico's Fossil Record 2, Lucas, S.G. (ed.). New Mexico Museum of Nature and Science, Bulletin Number 16.

Lambert, W. D., and J. Shoshani, 1998. The Proboscidea. In Janis, C., K. M. Scott, and L. Jacobs (eds.), Evolution of Tertiary Mammals of North America, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK.

J. Shoshani, R. C. Walter, M. Abraha, S. Berhe, P. Tassy, W. J. Sanders, G. H. Marchant, Y. Libsekal, T. Ghirmai and D. Zinner. 2006. A proboscidean from the late Oligocene of Eritrea, a ‘‘missing link’’ between early Elephantiformes and Elephantimorpha, and biogeographic implications. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103(46):17296-17301

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So far as I recall, Serridentinus is just a more derived genus than Gomphotherium - both are still valid.

In America, the latter is just found in the m. Miocene (Barstovian N.A. Land Mammal age), when proboscidians first got here from Asia. I think they got to Europe from Africa only a little earlier. Those thick-skinned fellows really got around!

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