Dwarf elephant skeleton, Malta

Dwarf elephant skeleton, Malta

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Credit: MARCO ANSALONI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Dwarf elephant skeleton. Fossilised remains of a dwarf elephant (order Proboscidea) on display at the Ghar Dalam Museum and Caves, Malta. Dwarf elephants first inhabited the Mediterranean islands during the Pleistocene epoch (the Ice Age), which lasted from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago. They are generally considered to be members of the Palaeoloxodon genus, that underwent insular dwarfism - evolving smaller forms due to being isolated on an island.

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