The Proboscidea (from the Greekπροβοσκίς and the Latinproboscis) are a taxonomicorder of afrotherian mammals containing one living family (Elephantidae) and several extinct families. This order, first described by J. Illiger in 1811, encompasses the trunked mammals. In addition to their enormous size, later proboscideans are distinguished by tusks and long, muscular trunks; these features were less developed or absent in the smaller early proboscideans. Beginning in the mid Miocene, most members of this order were very large animals. The largest land mammal today is the African elephant weighing up to 10.4 tonnes with a shoulder height of up to 4 metres (13.1 ft). The largest land mammal of all time may have also been a proboscidean: Palaeoloxodon namadicus, which may have weighed up to 22 t (24.3 short tons) with a shoulder height of up to 5.2 metres (17.1 ft), surpassing several sauropod dinosaurs (in height).
^J. Shoshani and P. Tassy. 2005. Advances in proboscidean taxonomy & classification, anatomy & physiology, and ecology & behavior. Quaternary International 126-128:5-20
^Shi-Qi Wang; Tao Deng; Jie Ye; Wen He; Shan-Qin Chen (2016). Morphological and ecological diversity of Amebelodontidae (Proboscidea, Mammalia) revealed by a Miocene fossil accumulation of an upper-tuskless proboscidean. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. Online edition. doi:10.1080/14772019.2016.1208687.
Ronald M. Nowak (1999), Walker’s Mammals of the World (6th ed.), Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, ISBN 0-8018-5789-9, LCCN98023686
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