Science Word of the Day: Mastodon
I have a soft spot for the American mastodon. The beast lived at the same time as the famous woolly mammoth, yet the mastodon is not nearly as popular as its tundra-living cousin. I can relate to that. But even worse, the shadow of the woolly mammoth stretches so far that the mastodon is often confused for its shaggy relative. This is not a new problem.
Back in the late 18th century, when paleontology was a nascent science, many naturalists thought that giant elephant bones found in Europe, northern Eurasia, and America were from modern species that used to live there. Elephantine bones found in England, for example, were attributed to behemoths the Romans must have