Platybelodon was a genus of herbivores (plant-eaters) related to elephants that lived
in Africa, Asia, Europe
and North America, during the Miocene epoch between about 15 million and 4 million years
The name "Platybelodon" means "flat-tusk" and refers to it two lower which were
greatly extended (it is from these teeth that the genus gets its popular name
of "shovel tuskers"). A number of different theories have been proposed for how
the animal may have used these teeth - they may have been used to shovel up
vegetation when feeding in swampy areas, they could have been used to strip
bark from tees, or they might have been used to dig for water.
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