- Name of the subject: Fossil mastodon teeth
- Presentation: drawing from a mastodon
- Period / Dating: Miocene / 10 million years ago
- Origin: Suvodol, REK Bitola
- Material / technique: bone
Short story (description):
Fossil mastodons teeth were found in 2009 in the coal mine Suvodol, REK Bitola. Four fragments of fossil teeth from a lower jaw were found belonging to a mastodon, also called a prehistoric elephant. Fossils are petrified, actually mineralized remains of plants or animals that lived millions of years ago. Mastodon lived in this area during the Miocene period, when so-called freshwater Miocene lakes were formed and when there was lush vegetation.
These huge animals were ancestors of the mammoth and today’s elephant living in Africa. Actually, it is a paleontological sequence that leads to a different evolutionary development.
According to its age of 10 million years, the mastodon is the oldest in this sequence, followed by a mammoth 5 million years ago and finally today’s elephant. The largest mastodon sample found was about 4 meters high and could reach up to 10 tons. The difference between the mastodon and the mammoth is that the mastodon has larger and not so curly beavs (big curved teeth). It settled grassy habitats similar to today’s African savannahs. It lived with the ancestors of today’s giraffes, sabertooth tigers, primates and other extinct species from the period of Miocene. These giant herbivorous mammals began to disappear from our area due to the sudden climate changes.