Fun Stegodon Facts For Kids

Oluniyi Akande
Oct 20, 2022 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Aug 27, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Read further to discover some awesome Stegodon facts!
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.7 Min

An enormous creature from the past, the Stegodon was a large mammal that existed over 11 million years ago.

Going extinct over 4000 years ago, the Stegodon was a large, elephant like creature with extremely large tusks that grew to lengths of 10 ft (3 m). Stegodonts were present in large parts of east and central Asia and Africa, including Indonesia, Timor, Japan, and China.

In fact, the youngest fossil found has been dated back 4100 years to the Pleistocene period.

The Stegodon belongs to the genus Stegodon, family Stegodontidae and order Proboscidea. Other Proboscideans include the great Mammoths of the past, the Mastodons, and the Asian and African elephants of today.

Scientists made use of the fossils found in the Miocene and Pleistocene periods to discover the various habits of the Stegodont, including its diet, its physical features, its social habits, and so on.

It was discovered that these animals started out as extremely large creatures and slowly evolved into dwarf elephants. The dwarf Stegodon species evolved from the larger species including the Stegodon ganesa, the Stegodon zdanskyi, and the Stegodon elaphantoides.

The dwarf species includes the Stegodon sondaari (found in the Island of Flores), the Stegodon aurorae (found in Japan and China), and the Stegodon sumbaensis (found in Sumba).

Read further to learn some fun facts about Stegodon, and do check out our Wooly mammoth facts and Asian elephant facts pages!

Stegodon Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Stegodon?

The Stegodon is a prehistoric animal that resembles the modern day elephant. They belong to the genus Stegodon.

What class of animal does a Stegodon belong to?

The Stegodon is a mammal belonging to the family Stegodontidae and genus Stegodon.

How many Stegodons are there in the world?

The Stegodon is extinct. This means that there are no more Stegodons alive in the world today.

Where does a Stegodon live?

The Stegodon used to be found in different parts of Indonesia, Eastern, and Central Africa.

What is a Stegodon's habitat?

It is believed that Stegodons (genus Stegodon) used to be found in forests, open grasslands, and Asian islands.

Who do Stegodons live with?

Although there is no exact information about the social habits of the Stegodon, it is speculated that they lived in herds, just as modern day elephants do. Elephants are the only members of the same family as the Stegodon today.

How long does a Stegodon live?

The exact lifespan of the Stegodon is unknown. However, based on the lifespan of other Proboscideans (like elephants), it can be assumed that the lifespan of the Stegodon is in the range of 50-70 years.

How do they reproduce?

The Stegodon reproduces viviparously like other Proboscideans, which means that they give birth to live young. They undergo sexual reproduction, followed by a pregnancy period where the baby develops inside the mother's body. The exact gestation period of the Stegodon is not known, but it can be speculated that it ranges between 18-25 months.

What is their conservation status?

The Stegodon has been classified as an extinct animal by the IUCN. Other extinct animals include the dodo bird, Pyrenean ibex, and white rhino.

Stegodon Fun Facts

What do Stegodons look like?

Stegodons belong to the order Proboscidea, just like modern day elephants. Hence, they are very similar in appearance to the Asian elephant, with large gray bodies, long trunks, tusks, and big ears. However, they were much larger and had much larger tusks.

In fact, it is believed that the Stegodon could grow a tusk over 10 ft (3.04 m) long. Due to this length, the Stegodon often carried its trunk to the side. Stegodons could often grow to weigh 25400 lb (11521.25 kgs) and 13 ft (3.96 m) long.

The Stegodon was characterized by its long tusks and large bodies

How cute are they?

The Stegodont was a very large animal with very long tusks. Hence, they were not considered to be cute. In addition to this, these animals have been extinct for 11,000 years and have never been seen alive by modern day humans. Hence, it is impossible to classify them as cute or not.

How do they communicate?

The exact method of communication between Stegodonts is unknown. However, from the behaviors of other members of the same family, it can be speculated that Stegodonts used a combination of cries, roars, moans, and other noises to communicate with one another.

They may have also used seismic communication like elephants to sense any vibrations and sound waves in the ground.

How big is a Stegodon?

The Stegodon was a very large animal, with a large grey body and long tusks. It is believed that the Stegodon could grow to weigh a whopping 25400 lb (11521.25 kgs), a length of 13 ft (3.96 m), a height of 12.7 ft (3.87 m), and tusks that could grow to be over 10 ft (3.04 m) long.

This makes them 100 times taller than a Sumatran elephant.

How fast can a Stegodon run?

The speed of a Stegodon cannot be estimated. However, they were considered to be very good and quick swimmers.

How much does a Stegodon weigh?

The Stegodon could weigh up to 25400 lb (11521.25 kgs) over 11 million years ago. However, throughout the years, Stegodons underwent a phenomenon known as Island Dwarfism, which is the phenomenon of larger animals evolving into smaller animals.

For example, the smallest Stegodon species discovered was the Stegodon sumbaensis of Sumba, which was found to weigh only 551.1 lb (250 kg). Other species include the Stegodon aurorae and the Stegodon flores.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the males and females of this species. They are simply referred to as male or female Stegodon.

What would you call a baby Stegodon?

There are no specific names for a baby Stegodon. They are simply referred to as juveniles or calves.

What do they eat?

The Stegodon was a herbivore used to eat leaves, foliage, shoots, and stems.

Are they poisonous?

No, The Stegodon was not poisonous. They were a large species belonging to the same family and order as modern day elephants ( like Asian elephants found in large parts of east and central Asia).

Would they make a good pet?

The Stegodon is currently extinct. They were also large, wild animals that required large spaces like big islands and open fields. Hence, these animals would have not made good pets.

Did you know...

The Stegodon is a prehistoric animal that existed over 11 million years ago. It is believed that they existed from the Mya period (11.6 million years ago) to the Pleistocene period (4000 years ago).

Various Stegodon fossils were found in and around Africa, Asia, and the Indonesian islands. These fossils were found to be from the Miocene period or epoch (23 million years ago to 5.3 million years ago). The latest fossil that was discovered was in China and was discovered to be around 4100 years old.

Stegodonts are considered to be very good swimmers as a large number of fossils were discovered in various Asian islands with no land bridges. This means that the fossils of the stegodon were found in these islands because they would have swum across the waters to reach land.

The Stegodon's extinction

Stegodonts were present from the Mya period to the Pleistocene period (11.6 million years ago to 4000 years ago) in large parts of Asia and Africa. It is believed that they went extinct in the Late Pleistocene period.

Scientists conducted various studies on the teeth of the Stegodon to study its diet habits. Studying the teeth of these animals led scientists to the conclusion that they used to eat C3 plants in forest areas.

This means that the Stegodon used to eat in dense forests only. This suggested that they were not able to adapt to the changing environmental conditions over the years, which led to their extinction.

How are Stegodons and elephants related?

Stegodons and Elephants belong to the order Proboscidea, which means animals that had trunks. This included Mastodons, Mammoths, Stegodons, and modern day elephants.

In fact, the Asian elephant and the Stegodon used to live in the same period in east and central Asian and African countries and Islands. However, the Asian elephant had a more adaptable diet, which allowed it to survive while the Stegodon went extinct.

Currently, there are only three species of the Proboscidea family still alive today. This includes the Asian elephant, The African bush elephant, and the African forest elephant.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these baiji facts and Tasmanian tiger facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable mammoth coloring pages.

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

Oluniyi Akande picture

Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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