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Anancus (Wikimedia Commons)


Anancus (after an ancient Roman king); pronounced an-AN-cuss


Jungles of Eurasia

Historical Epoch:

Late Miocene-Early Pleistocene (3-1.5 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 10 feet tall and 1-2 tons



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long, straight tusks; short legs


About Anancus:

Apart from two idiosyncratic features--its long, straight tusks and its relatively short legs--Anancus looked more like a modern elephant than any of its fellow prehistoric pachyderms. This Pleistocene mammal's tusks were a whopping 13 feet long (almost as long as the rest of its body), and were probably used both to root up plants from the soft forest soil of Eurasia and to intimidate predators. Similarly, Anancus' broad, flat feet (and short legs) were adapted to life in its jungle habitat, where a sure-footed touch was needed to navigate the thick undergrowth.

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