There’s no question, the most endearing order of mammals to me is Proboscidea a.k.a. “trunked” animals like their only living examples, elephants. And what’s not to love? Their majestic stature, fused nose with their upper lips (trunks), and specialized teeth/tusks make them all unmistakable cousins despite their incredible diversity. Every major model company has released members of this order with several standing out as my favorites. I’ve reviewed most of them already such as Safari Ltd.’s Woolly Mammoth and Mastodon, CollectA’s Deinotherium, and Eofauna’s Steppe Mammoth. This year the rogue Eofauna has struck gold again with their incredible sophomore release – Palaeoloxodon antiquus the Straight-tusked elephant.
This animal was common in Europe back in the Pleistocene with its closest living relative the African forest elephant. One look at this model and you can see its strong resemblance to its living cousins – save for having longer legs and tusks. Just as their name implies, these tusks were straighter than other members of its order. The animal lived on the plains and likely in small herds. Scientists believe it was eventually out-competed by the more adaptive Woolly Mammoths when the climate grew cold.
Like the living animal it represents, this figure also comes from Europe and, after ordering mine from Everything Dinosaur in the UK, I was pretty much climbing the walls anticipating its arrival. In shipment boasting several impressive models, you’ll see why this one was by far my favorite.
Looking at the figure head-on, you’d almost swear it wasn’t a prehistoric animal at all but a modern Asian elephant. Because there were fossils of this animal found in Western Asia it was widely believed the animal was more closely related to Asian elephants until 2016 DNA tests proved otherwise. Regardless, I’m thinking the folks at Eofauna had them in mind when designing this model’s color scheme.
I love the pose which gives the impression that the animal is in full “charge.” Talk about majestic…this guy had no trouble taking over the shelf.
Since it only has three feet on the ground, I did experience some initial balancing issues but has remained upright since put on display. The way the trunk curls is particularly neat and, once again, gives a sense of “movement” to this object. The inside of the mouth is highly detailed with a view both tongue and teeth. Having had the honor of hand feeding live elephants, I can tell you that maw is spot on.
The foot pads of the elephant are also detailed with cracks. A look “under the hood” reveals this model to be representative of a male.
I don’t know what future projects Eofauna’s got going on but I commend them for this amazing piece and for choosing a more obscure member of the elephant family tree; a trend I hope they’ll continue.
General Appearance: Absolutely stunning and one of my favorite models in my collection.
Size: About 8.5 inches long, 3.5 inches wide, and 5.5 inches tall. This figure is 1:35 Scale.
Display/Diorama Worthy? Anyone who would stuff this work of art into a drawer or closet should be gored with a fossilized straight-tusk!