About cases of pathology of the dental system In Archidiskodon meridionalis meridionalis (Nesti, 1825) from Georgievsk sand pit (Stavropol Territory, Russia)

A.K. Shvyreva and V.V. Titov

Proceedings of the Zoological Institute RAS, 2018, 322(3): 259–267  ·  https://doi.org/10.31610/trudyzin/2018.322.3.259

Full text  


Two cases of the dental system’s dysfunction in Archidiskodon meridionalis meridionalis found in the Georgievsk sand pit (Stavropol Territory, Russia; Early Pleistocene, Psekups Faunal complex) are described. One of the tusks is missing in one of the elephant’s skull, and its alveolus is overgrown. Probably, the tusk was broken off already in the alveolus at the adult animal, after which its growth process did not renew. On the skull from a skeleton of the second animal on the left upper jaw there is a disturbance of the M2 teeth change on M3 teeth. Tooth M2 is somewhat displaced lingually because of its falling delay. The anterior part of tooth M3 is beveled buccally relatively to the axis of the crown approximately at 104°. At the same time, the medial half of the first six enamel plates were significantly turned out laterally. On the other teeth noticeable changes were not noted. An obvious cause of this anomaly was a disruption of M3 growth rate and slowing of the rate of crown wearing and resorption of two posterior roots of M2. The described pathology was probably not a consequence of genetic predispositions, infection, or trauma. There are signs of osteodystrophy at separate bones of the skeleton.

Key words

Early Pleistocene, meridionaloid elephant, molar, Stavropol Territory, tooth pathology, tusk

Submitted July 18, 2018  ·  Accepted August 27, 2018  ·  Published September 26, 2018


Adam K.D. 1994. Anomalien des Zahnwechsels bei Ele­phas primigenius aus dem Quartar des Oberrheins. Stuttgarter Beitrage zur Naturkunde, serie B (Geologie und Palaontologie), 211: 1–36.

Aguirre E.E. and Morales J. 1990. Villafranchian faunal record of Spain. Quart ärpaläontologie, 8: 7–11.

Baygusheva V.S., Titov V.V. and Foronova I.V. 2016. Teeth of early generations of elephant Archidiskodon meridionalis tamanensis (Mammalia, Elephantidae) from Sea of Azov Region (Russia). Quaternary International, 420: 306–318. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2015.08.007

Burns J.A., Baker C.G. and Mol D. 2003. An extraordinary woolly mammoth molar from Alberta, Canada. Deinsea, 9: 77–85.

Colyer N. 1994. Colyer’s Variations and diseases of the teeth of animals. Revised Edition. A.E.W. Miles and C. Grigson (Eds). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 672 p.

Dubrovo I.A. 1989. The systematic position of the Khaprovian elephant. Paleontological Journal, 1: 78–87. [In Russian].

Foronova I.V. 1999. Quaternary mammals and stratigraphy of the Kuznetsk Basin (South-Western Siberia). Antropozoikum “Quaternary of Siberia”, 23: 71–98.

Garutt V.E. 1954. Southern elephant Archidiskodon meridionalis (Nesti) from Pliocene of the Northern coast of the Sea of Azov. Trudy Kommissii po Izucheniyu Chetvertichnogo Perioda, 10(2): 1–76. [In Russian].

Garutt V.E. 1977. Dental system of elephants in individual and phylogenetic development. Trudy Zoologicheskogo Instituta Akademii Nauk SSSR, 72: 58–67. [In Russian].

Garutt V.E. and Foronova I.V. 1976. The study of teeth of extinct elephants: methodical recommendations. Institute of geology and geophysics SB AN SSSR, Novosibirsk, 36 p. [In Russian].

Garutt V.E. and Safronov I.N. 1965. A find of a skeleton of the southern elephant Archidiskodon meridionalis (Nesti) near the town of Georgievsk (Northern Caucasus). Byulleten Kommissii po Izucheniyu Chetvertichnogo Perioda, 30: 79–88. [In Russian].

Garutt W.E. 1998. A skeleton of the southern elephant, Archidiskodon meridionalis (Nesti, 1825), from a sand pit near Georgievsk, Northern Caucasus, Russia. Cranium, 15(1): 33–38.

Gromov V.I. 1977. Skull of elephant from Khapry. In: K.V. Nikiforova et al. (Eds). Paleontological basis of Anthropogene stratigraphy. Geological Institute RAS Press, Moscow: 83–94. [In Russian].

Kirillova I. 2009. Unusual tooth pathology in mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) from Yakutia. Russian Journal of Theriology, 8(1): 29–36. https://doi.org/10.15298/rusjtheriol.8.1.03

Kirillova I.V., Shidlovskiy F.K. and Titov V.V. 2012. Kastykhtakh mammoth from Taimyr (Russia). Quaternary International, 276–277: 269–277. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2011.11.022

Krzemińska A. 2008. Preliminary characteristics of pathologies found in the skeletons of mammoths at the Kraków Spadzista street (b) site. Veterinarija ir zootechnika, 43(65): 52–57.

Kuzmina I.E. and Praslov N.D. 1992. Anomalies in the structure of teeth and limb bones of mammoths from the Late Paleolithic site of Kostenki 1. Trudy Zoologicheskogo Instituta Akademii Nauk SSSR, 246: 68–71. [In Russian].

Lebedeva N.A. 1978. Correlation of the Anthropogene strata of the Pontian–Caspian Sea. Nauka, Moscow, 136 p. [In Russian].

Leshchinskiy S.V. 2017. Strong evidence for dietary mineral imbalance as the cause of osteodystrophy in Late Glacial woolly mammoths at the Berelyokh site (Northern Yakutia, Russia). Quaternary International, 445: 146–170. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2017.02.036

Lister A. and Bahn P. 2007. Mammoths: giants of the Ice Age. Revised Edition. University of California Press, Berkeley, 192 p.

Maglio V.J. 1973. Origin and evolution of the Elephantidae. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, New Series, 63(3): 1–149. https://doi.org/10.2307/1006229

Maschenko E.N. 2002. Individual development, biology and evolution of the woolly mammoth. Cranium, 19(1): 1–120.

Maschenko E.N. and Shpansky A.V. 2005. Abnormal dental morphology in the mammoth Mammuthus primigenius Blumenbach, 1799. Paleontological Journal, 39(1): 93–100.

Maschenko E.N., Kondaurov A.A. and Sher A.V. 2008. New data on the aberrant dentition of wooly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius). Abstracts of 6th meeting of the European Association of vertebrate palaeontologists (30 June–5 July 2008, Spišská Nová Ves). Spišská Nová Ves: 66–68.

Nikolaev V.I., Alexeev A.O., Maschenko E.N., Kuznet­so­va T.V. and Yakumin P. 2017. Reasons of pathologies of Yakutian mammoths’ tusks in the Late Pleistocene by data of isotopic and geochemical investigations. Izvestiya Rossiiskoi Akademii Nauk. Seriya Geograficheskaya, 1: 99–105. [In Russian].

Niven L. and Wojtal P. 2002. Cement furrows in the dentition of Mammuthus primigenius and the question of their etiology. Acta zoologica cracoviensia, 45(2): 307–319.

Niven L. and Wojtal P. 2003. Paleoecological implications of tooth pathologies in Mammuthus primigenius: examples from Central Europe. Abstracts of 3rd International Mammoth Conference (24–29 May 2003, Yukon). Yukon: 118–119.

Rossi M.A., Agostini S., Palombo M.R., Angelini I., Caramiello S., Casarin F., Ghezzo E., Marano F., Molin G., Reggiani P., Sangati C., Santello L., Socrate G. and Vinciguerra E. 2017.Mammuthus meridionalis from Madonna della Strada (Scoppito, L’Aquila): diagnostics and restoration. Bollettino della Societ à Paleontologica Italiana, 56(3): 359–373.

Roth V.L. 1989. Fabricational noise in elephant dentitions. Paleobiology, 15(2): 165–179. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0094837300009349

Sher A.V. and Garutt V.E. 1985. On the technique for the identification of molar generations in extinct elephants. Trudy Zoologicheskogo Instituta Akademii Nauk SSSR, 131: 93–103. [In Russian].

Shpansky A.V. 2014. Variations in the teeth’s morphology of a woolly mammoth Mammuthus primigenius (Blumenbach, 1799) (Mammalia: Elephanthidae). Trudy Zoologicheskogo Instituta Akademii Nauk RAN, 318(1): 24–33. [In Russian].

Tesakov A.S. 2004. Biostratigraphy of the Middle Pliocene – Eopleystocene of Eastern Europe. Nauka, Moscow, 247 p. [In Russian with English summary].

Titov V.V. 2008. Late Pliocene Large Mammals of the Northeastern Sea of Azov Region. YuNTs RAN, Rostov-on-Don, 264 p. [In Russian with English summary].

Titov V.V. and Shvyreva A.K. 2016. Deer of the genus Megaloceros (Mammalia, Cervidae) from the Early Pleistocene of Ciscaucasia. Paleontological Journal, 50(1): 87–95. https://doi.org/10.1134/S0031030116010111

van Essen H. 2004. A supernumerary tooth and an odontoma attributable to Mammuthus primigenius (Blumenbach, 1799) (Mammalia, Proboscidea) from The Netherlands, and various related finds. Acta zoologica cracoviensia, 47(1–2): 81–121.

Vereshchagin N.K. 1960. Diseases of teeth of Yakutian mammoths. Byulleten Kommissii po Izucheniyu Chetvertichnogo Perioda, 24: 109–111. [In Russian].

Vereshchagin N.K. 2002. From muskrat to mammoth. Asterion Publishes, Saint Petersburg, 336 p. [In Russian].

Wojtal P. 2001. The woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) remains from the Upper Palaeolithic site Kraków Spadzista Street (B). Proceedings of the First International Congress: The World of Elephants (16–20 October, Rome). Rome: 367–372.


© Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Last modified: December 25, 2018