Jan. 28, 2020

An international study in Quaternary Science Reviews has sought to bring some order into our understanding of giant straight-tusked elephant.


  • About 800,000 years ago, a giant straight-tusked elephant migrated out of Africa and spread across Europe and Asia.

  • Marked by a huge head, the elephant divided into many species, such as Palaeoloxodon antiquus (in Europe), Palaeoloxodon namadicus (India) and Palaeoloxodon naumanni (Japan).

  • One key point of confusion was the different sizes of skull crests in fossils found in Europe. The new study has concluded that there was a single European species.

  • On the other hand, fossils found in Asia and East Africa represent distinct species that evolved.