The Otisville Mastodon (Mammut americanus) has returned to the Peabody after more than three years in Canada being cleaned, prepared, and remounted by the team at Research Casting International.
Roughly 11,000 years old and over ten feet tall, it was unearthed on a farm near Otisville, New York, in 1872. It likely encountered some of the earliest humans to reach eastern North America.
Though similar in appearance to mammoths, mastodons are not as closely related to them as you might think. Mastodon means “breast tooth” and their conical chompers allowed them to browse on coniferous twigs and pine needles.
They diverged from the evolutionary line that produced modern elephants and woolly mammoths around 27 million years ago, long before proboscideans developed the grinding teeth necessary for eating grass.