Platybelodon ("flat-tusk") was a genus of large herbivorous mammal related to the elephant (order Proboscidea). It lived during the Miocene Epoch, about 15-4 million years ago, and ranged over Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. Although it thrived during its time, it did not survive past the Miocene and is now extinct. Some have speculated that it became too specialized and was unable to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Platybelodon was previously believed to have fed in the swampy areas of grassy savannas using its teeth to shovel up aquatic and semi-aquatic vegetation. However, wear patterns on the teeth suggest that it used its lower tusks to strip bark from trees. Platybelodon was very similar to the Amebelodon, another gomphothere species. Another possibility is that it used its shovel-tusks to dig for water in dry seasons.
Due to the shape of the two lower teeth, which are worn by many gomphothere species (such as Platybelodon, Archaeobelodon, and Amebelodon) they are popularly known as shovel tuskers.[Wikipedia]