First attested 1813, from the New Latin genus name Mastodon (1806), coined by Georges Cuvier, from Ancient Greek μαστός (mastos, “breast”) + ὀδούς (odous, “tooth”), from the similarity of the mammilloid projections on the crowns of the extinct mammal's molars.
mastodon (plural mastodons)
- Extinct elephant-like mammal of the genus Mammut that flourished worldwide from Miocene through Pleistocene times; differs from elephants and mammoths in the form of the molar teeth.
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