Underground Mastodon

From Sim Aberson, this tile from the NYC subway, at the 81st Street – Museum of Natural History Station:

(#1)

That’s the American mastodon. And this is a marker for an underground mastodon (note nice double dactyl: Higgledy piggedy / Undergound mastodon …).

A few words about mammoths and mastodons.

The American Museum of Natural History’s signature mastodon:

(#2)

In brief: mastodons are much older, mammoths very much more recent.

From Wikipedia:

Mastodons (Greek: μαστός “breast” and ὀδούς, “tooth”) are any species of extinct proboscideans in the genus Mammut, distantly related to elephants, that inhabited North and Central America during the late Miocene or late Pliocene up to their extinction at the end of the Pleistocene 10,000 to 11,000 years ago.

M. americanum, the American mastodon, is the youngest and best-known species of the genus. They disappeared from North America as part of a mass extinction of most of the Pleistocene megafauna, widely presumed to have been related to overexploitation by Clovis hunters, and possibly also to climate change.

In contrast:

A mammoth is any species of the extinct genus Mammuthus, proboscideans commonly equipped with long, curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long hair. They lived from the Pliocene epoch (from around 5 million years ago) into the Holocene at about 4,500 years ago in Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America. They were members of the family Elephantidae which contains, along with mammoths, the two genera of modern elephants and their ancestors.

The type species is Mammuthus primigenius, the woolly mammoth.

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