Mastodons are found in almost all parts of the world.
The mode of succession of the teeth in the mastodons exhibits so many stages of the process by which the dentition of elephants has been derived from that of more ordinary mammals.
Mastodons have fewer ridges on their molar teeth than elephants; the ridges are also less elevated, wider apart, with a thicker enamel covering, and scarcely any cement filling the space between them.
Certain of the molar teeth of the middle of the series in both elephants and mastodons have the same number of principal ridges; those in front having fewer, and those behind a greater number.
In 1801 he undertook, largely at his own expense, the excavation of the skeletons of two mastodons in Ulster and Orange counties, New York, and in 1802 he established at Philadelphia Peale's Museum.
Thence both elephants and mastodons reached North America by the Bering Sea route; while the former, which arrived earlier than the latter, eventually penetrated into South America.
Mastodons, like elephants, always have a pair of upper tusks, while the earlier ones likewise have a short pair in the lower jaw, which is prolonged into a snout-like symphysis for their support.
On the other hand, in the short-chinned mastodons, as represented by the Pleistocene North American Mastodon americanus and the Pliocene European M.
These long-chinned mastodons must have had an extremely elongated muzzle, formed by the upper lip and nose above and the lower lip below, with which they were able to reach the ground, the neck being probably rather longer than in elephants.
As regards the elephants (now restricted to Africa and tropical Asia), there appears to be evidence that the ancestral mastodons, after having developed from African forms probably not very far removed from the Amblypoda, migrated into Asia, where they gave rise to the true elephants.