Difference Between Mammoth and Elephant

Mammoths and elephants are large mammals that share certain similar physical characteristics. However, these differ from each other based on some specifications that have to do with the habitat and more precisely with the time in which they have populated the earth.

In this sense, in this article we present the most important differences between mammoth and elephant based on their definitions to clarify any doubts that readers may have about it.


The mammoth is an animal that lived on earth in the Quaternary era (7.8 million years ago) and its extinction is recorded approximately until 3,500 years ago. It belonged to the genus -elephantidae- and its scientific name is -mammuthus-. It was a large animal with a rounded head that had a great prominence on the head provided with hair, had prominent shoulders and a backward tilt of the back similar to the current Asian elephant.

Also, among other characteristics, the mammoth could reach up to 4 meters in height. It had a skin covered with very thick hair to protect itself from low temperatures. For this reason, some species of mammoths were known as woolly mammoths or Siberian mammoths. The dental structure of the mammoths was characterized by having flat and parallel teeth ideal for crushing herbs and they had huge tusks curved downwards at the exit and then upwards, which allowed them to uproot herbs and bushes from birth.

On the other hand, some species of mammoth lived in the North American plains but the woolly mammoth was from a much colder habitat and was found scattered throughout the northern hemisphere, especially in the forests of Siberia.


The elephant is the largest land mammal today. It belongs to the genus -elephantidae- and to the order -Proboscidea-. Currently, two different species of elephants are known, namely the African elephant and the Asian elephant. Each of them with different subspecies, some extinct such as the mammoth and the mastodon. Elephants throughout their evolution have been able to adapt to a wide variety of environments, due to the settlement of human communities that have resulted in the displacement of their habitats. Therefore, today they can live in high mountainous areas, savannahs, deserts, valleys and tropical forests.

On the other hand, elephants measure between 2.7 to 3.5 meters in height, the largest being the African elephant and have a longevity of between 48 and 70 years. These are herbivores and base their diet on fruits, branches and herbs. Some theories maintain that the origin of the elephants occurred with the arrival of the cataclysm and the migration of the species to areas suitable for living.

Also, it is known that they are animals that live in herds and play an essential role in the balance and maintenance of the environment, since, through their diet, they contribute to the dispersion of seeds and their manure becomes fertilizer that enriches the environment. ground.

According to what was previously stated, it becomes clear that the main difference between the mammoth and the elephant has to do with the era in which the mammoth existed. However, other differences are highlighted below:

  • Mammoths inhabited the earth in the Quaternary era and became extinct approximately 3.5 billion years ago, while Asian elephants and African elephants are mammals that still exist on planet earth today.
  • Mammoths had their bodies covered with hair to protect themselves from low temperatures, while elephants lack hair, since they live in tropical and warmer areas.
  • Mammoths were considerably larger than elephants. (up to 4 meters and from 2.7 to 3.5 meters, respectively)

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