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Still Waters

Prehistoric Elephant Had Spork for a Mouth

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The spork-faced Platybelodon's strange jutting jaw actually consists of a second pair of flattened, widened tusks (tusks themselves being modified incisors). When the genus Platybelodon, which means "flat tooth" and its species were first described in the 1920s "their lower incisors were thought to function to shovel, scoop, dig and dredge soft vegetation in aquatic or swampy environments" vertebrate paleontologist William Sanders of the University of Michigan wrote in an email to WIRED. "But recent analysis of tusk wear surfaces show that they were used more as scythes to cut tough vegetation"

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