The Ancestor Of The Modern Day Elephant Was . . . . . The Size Of A Rabbit!

By Meera Dolasia on July 15, 2009

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While it was known that the giant woolly mammoth is the ancestor of the modern-day elephant, very little was known about how and when the modern day elephant and other mammals evolved following the demise of the dinosaurs, about 65 million years ago.

Now thanks to a 60-million year-old fossil found in Morocco, scientists believe that they may have some insights. The skull found belongs to a trunk-less animal that paleontologists believe measured less than 2ft from tip to tail and weighed less than 11lbs.

While it looks nothing like our modern day nelly, scientists believe that its jutting front incisor teeth are the beginnings of the tusks of the modern-day elephant - And that this creature was indeed the first evolution of the mammal after the dinosaurs disappeared.

Besides being ten million years older than any other elephant fossil find, the skull also indicates that new species of animals and rodents, the direct predecessors to our modern animals, started to develop just six million years after the dinosaur era, much sooner than scientists had previously estimated.

sources: telegraph.co.uk, nationalgeographic.com

Vocabulary

evolutionincisorpaleontologistspredecessors

Geography

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70 Comments
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  • yayTuesday, March 31, 2015 at 7:57 pm
    cool
    • cleopatraSunday, March 8, 2015 at 7:56 am
      awesome
      • brithaThursday, November 6, 2014 at 7:49 pm
        Like realy an elephant the size of a rabbit u guys gotta be joking..... lol no ways...
        • aphphilippines
          aphphilippinesTuesday, March 3, 2015 at 11:47 am
          Wanna bet?It's not impossible, we humans used to have tails! So I bet that an elephant can be the size of an elephant.:)
        • Glo567Monday, August 11, 2014 at 4:59 pm
          awesome!!
          • prof_JoeSunday, August 3, 2014 at 7:00 pm
            cool
            • yennie
              yennieTuesday, October 8, 2013 at 5:17 pm
              awww :) how sweet
              • katie Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 10:42 am
                i really want one
                • sunshineThursday, April 18, 2013 at 11:45 am
                  That is impossible!!! An elephant the size as a rabbit yeah right!!!
                  • yennie
                    yennieTuesday, October 8, 2013 at 5:16 pm
                    this IS possible, look at how much the dinosaurs, and sharks evolved. from megalodon to hammerhead. from huge predator, to small bird of prey.
                  • BubbleJuiceThursday, April 11, 2013 at 6:53 am
                    Hm... how do they know that it was the ancestor of the elephant and not just another species?
                    • TattletaleTuesday, March 26, 2013 at 11:08 am
                      unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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