Fr lwEc (upPc?) of Afr Asia, Eur, & NAm.
Very large up to 7500 kg) herbivores with trunks. Skull anteroposteriorly compressed & tall, pneumatized; large tusks formed from I2 (I1?) with enamel only on tip; in recent forms; usually only one very large, loxodont, cheek tooth is functional at any given time; cheek teeth with numerous ridges formed from enamel, dentine coat and cementum between ridges; narial proboscis with 1-2 finger-like structures at distal end; premaxilla specialized as sheath for tusks; marked lambdoid crest (see this image at Animal Diversity Web); neck short; small tail; long axis of pelvis almost 90º to spine; acetabulum faces ventrally; graviportal, unspecialized, columnar limbs; proximal segments longest; heel pad of fibrous tissue supports most of weight; short digits 5/5; massive bones; limb bones without marrow & with spongy bone core; non-selective browsers(?); complex social structures and vocalizations; infrasound (14-24 Hz) long-distance communications.
Links: Introduction to the Proboscidea; Elephant Information Repository: Elephant Resources (mostly a conservation site, but some science); Illinois State Museum; Animal Diversity Web: Order Proboscidea; proboscidea page; Order Proboscidea (always a great site, but this specimen is particularly worth a look); Order Proboscidea: Elephants; Mammoths; Proboscidea; Phylum Chordata / Class Mammalia / Order Proboscidea; Proboscidea Trunked Mammals); Animal Diversity Web: Proboscidea: Information; proboscidea page presumably a student page, with several layout errors -- but lots of good information); Proboscidea the usual aging ToL page, but many good older references); Proboscidea Ultimate Ungulate page); Proboscidea grade-school level site); Basal Proboscidea Mikko's Phylogeny); Proboscidea; ELEPHANTIDAE extract from Walker's); Proboscidean Mammals- EnchantedLearning.com; Elephant Evolution not very useful); Comparative Mammalian Brain Collections- Proboscidea fair amount of background on Elephas as well); Elephants - facts and information about elephants a 300-page site on elephants. Easily Best on the Web).
Image: Ganesh riding on his bearer and good friend, the rat.
Note: the heavy bones, columnar limbs and pneumatized skull may have developed before the evolution of great size. ATW040703.