ETYM Greek mastos the breast + odoys, odontos, a tooth. So called from the conical projections upon its molar teeth.
Extinct elephant-like mammal that flourished worldwide from Miocene through Pleistocene times; differ from mammoths in the form of the molar teeth; SYN. mastodont.
Extinct elephantlike animal.
Any of an extinct family (Mastodontidae) of mammals of the elephant order (Proboscidae). They differed from elephants and mammoths in the structure of their grinding teeth. There were numerous species, among which the American mastodon Mastodon americanum, about 3 m/10 ft high, of the Pleistocene era, is well known. They were hunted by humans for food.