The females have relatively large tusks, which are essential in obtaining their food.
The latter are dug up with the tusks; the left one being generally employed in this service, and thus becoming much more worn than its fellow.
In the former the upper tusks are bent down so as to cross the tips of the short and chisel-like lower pair.
It is hunted chiefly for the sake of the ivory of its immense tusks, of which it yields the principal source of supply to the European market, and the desire to obtain which is rapidly leading to the extermination of the species.
Mastodons, like elephants, always have a pair of upper tusks, while the earlier ones likewise have a short pair in the lower jaw, which is prolonged into a snout-like symphysis for their support.