Mammoth and other proboscideans in China during the Late Pleistocene
Deinsea , Volume 9 - Issue 1 p. 421- 428
In China during the Late Pleistocene four genera of proboscideans (Mammuthus, Stegodon, Elephas and Palaeoloxodon), containing six species, were present. Mammuthus primigenius is the most verified species, because of its easily identified tooth morphology. Stegodon orientalis is also a species widely accepted and easily to recognise. However, the presence of Palaeoloxodon naumanni (Palaeoloxodon can be considered as an independent genus or as a subgenus of Elephas) is open to question, because its distinction from Elephas maximus is not remarkable. Chronologically, mammoth had a very short history in China. It lived during the time span between 34.000 - 11.800 yBP. Stegodon originated in China at the beginning of the Pliocene. Its ‘golden age’ was the Middle and Late Pleistocene; it even survived into the Holocene (5.000 yBP). Elephas immigrated into China in the Late Pliocene; its localities were widely distributed in China during the Pleistocene. This genus too survived into the Holocene. More than ten Holocene localities have been reported. Today there still is a small herd of Elephas near the southwestern border of China. Geographically, Mammuthus was limited to the northeastern part, while some fossils were fished from the bottom of the most northern part of the Yellow Sea. Palaeoloxodon and Elephas are the most widely distributed groups during the Late Pleistocene: from North to South, more than 50 localities have been reported in formal publications. Stegodon is also well represented during the Late Pleistocene, more than 20 localities have been reported, limited to southern China.