Elephas (Palaeoloxodon) antiquus

Elephas (Palaeoloxodon) antiquus  the straight-tusked elephant was a notably large-bodied elephant, with long, almost straight, tusks.

The straight-tusked elephant was a commonly found across Eurasia in the Middle and Late Pleistocene between 50 and 780 thousand years ago. 

Well preserved fossils of straight-tusked elephants are know from Britain right across Europe and Asia as far as Japan.

The elephants were also environmentally significant as major tree-eaters. The elephants could heavily modify and open up woodland environments so that animals better adapted to more open conditions could move in

The straight-tusked elephants seem to have become extinct when their range was greatly restricted during the last major global ice age.

Species detail

  • Taxonomy

    Elephas (Palaeoloxodon) antiquus was a notably large-bodied elephant, with long, almost straight, tusks. The straight tusk elephant was first defined from remains  found in caves on the Gower Peninsula in south Wales. Find out more.

  • Distribution and habitat

    Elephas (Palaeoloxodon) antiquus was at times common across Eurasia.  Well preserved fossils of straight-tusked elephants are know from Britain across Europe and Asia as far as Japan. Find out more about the habitats and distribution of this ancient elephant.

  • Behaviour

    Straight-tusked elephant  consumed large areas of interglacial woodland vegetation and were major tree-eaters modifying their environment. Learn more about the behaviour of the straight-tusked elephant.  

  • Dwarf elephants

    In some areas, this species seems to have developed into numerous dwarfed populations.