Fossil - Skeleton; composite

Systematic - Paleontology

Reign: Animalia
Phylum / Division: Chordata (Vertebrata)
Class: Mammalia
Order: Proboscidea
Family: Elephantidae
Scientific name: Elephas mnaidriensis Adams

Geological age

Geochronology (Chronostratigraphy)

Eon (Eontema): Phanerozoic
Era (Eratema): Cenozoic
Period (System): Neogene
Epoca (Serie): Pleistocene
Age (Plain): Middle Pleistocene
Other chronological subdivisions: Middle Pleistocene

Description: The Elephas mnaidriensis is a species very similar to the current African elephant, although much smaller. It is, like the hippo, one of many African animals that populated Sicily during the Pleistocene. The large central hole in the skull, corresponding to the nasal opening, was mistaken for a single eye in the forehead by the ancient Greek sailors visiting the Mediterranean islands, where these large fossil skulls occur in coastal caves, originating the legend of the Cyclops.


Continent / Subcontinent: Europe
State: Italy
Region: Sicilia

Università degli Studi di Padova, Museo di Geologia e Paleontologia

Item code: 24590


  • Piccoli G., Laddaga Formentin O., Winkler Del Pup G.,Zanferrari Visentin M.E., 1970 – Studi su resti dicrani di Elephas mnaidriensis Adams del Pleistocene di Sicilia. Mem. Istituti Geol. e Mineral. Univ. Padova, 27, pp. 1-32, figg. 20, tavv. 3.