The pungent stench of masuclinity crawls along the edge of the forest. Leaves rustling softly as a vicious looking creatures ambles through the undergrowth. The young Deinotherium male looks up and hesitates as the potential adversary strides onto the grassy clearing. Much advanced in age and experience, the rival is much smaller then the young male, but also much bulkier. Testosterone kicks in as the both of them get aware of each other and without further appraisal approach each other. No real fight is required, a short, hard push to the flank makes it clear who`s the king of the day. Determination and weight deceides against the young male today. With a crestfallen trumpeting it fastly moves away. Three or four more years and it will be able to best not only those of equal age, but also the battle worn elders . . . .
Bear with me for having the main character of this review beaten like that. Proud and impressive in height aswell as length of tusks, not only these morphological traits deceide an animals fate, but also its`character and attitude – well, that not only counts for beasts but also for us humans. But let`s have a closer look to our young male…
Eofauna`s Deinotherium is the third proboscian of the yet small but fastly growing line of figures. Out of these three it`s the one with the greatest shoulder size (the Steppe reaches further in total while the Longtusked is the heaviest), standing 11.8 cm tall at this point. The length is direct line is around 21.5 cm. As usual the figures comes with some sort of trading card with a nice artwork very reminiscent to the work of Zdenek Burian.
Deinotherium was a very successfull and long living species, covering a span of 20 millions from the Miocene to the early Pleistocene. It is known from a great many locations in the Old World, mainly Central and South East Europe aswell as East Africa, but also Asia. The most derived forms grew significantly larger than modern elephants. Though superficially “elephant-like”, Deinotherium is not too closely related to recent species, as the groups evolved seperatly from a shared ancestor. In fact, while the skeletons of both groups bear a lot of similarities, especially to the untrained eye, it may be that the outer looks of Deinotherium was quite different from modern elephants (compare Witton`s reconstruction which looks a bit like a giant pig).
Eofauna deceided to go the conservative way and I like that a lot. Skin details and overall morphology makes it easily identifiable as an “elephant”. The trunk is reconstructed thick and quite short, but long enough to allow the animal for drinking when you take in account the long neck. The tusks are laterally flattened – a sign that Eofauna did their homework – and quite long. Four nails are sculpted on each hand/feet, but only the three biggest painted. It seems that the number of visible nails in proboscians can vary and recent elephants also only show three nails (at least in the photos I found), though in fact have still five digits.
The figure is shown in a very active pose, which I checked thoroughly as the stance seemed wrong to me in the first instance. Recent elephants (and other land dwelling, tall and heavy weight mammals) use a four beat gait, called walk, where the limbs of one side move, before the ones on the other side move. This is in stark contrast to the trot, where two diagonally limbs move at once before the other two have their turn. This kind of locomotion is seen in lizards for example. Due to their weight, elephants can only walk – though with significant speed if required – but they cannot run or gallop in the sense of having more than one limb off the ground at once. So when I checked the material available on youtube I found that Eofauna shows their Deinotherium in a correct, albeit quite fast movement, as the situation, that a front limb begins its movement before the according hind limb is completly set on ground appears only in very fast moving elephants. (That being said, leaves some questions about their Atlasaurus, but hey, we are at mammals here).
In terms of accuray and detailing Eofauna delivered what we expect from them, heck, that “terribly large beast” even got nipples between its front legs. Besides the short trunk, the downcurved tusks and long neck, the flat head is a specific characteristic of Deinotherium. All of it is perfectly executed here. For nitpicking reasons I have to add, that the inner mouth wasn`t painted in a glossy paint as on their other models and that one tusk was a tad bit (really a tad bit) sloppily painted. Nothing that could not be remedied with a bit of glossy varnish and some paint within 3 minutes and no reason to return an otherwise perfect figure.
A true gem for your elephant or prehistoric collection alike.
Great review of this awesome figure. It’s really nice to have this current figure and have it alongside its predecessors and see the evolution of how the species is depicted in toy form.
I’m working on the Atlasaurus review now.
Wonderful review. Love the opening vignette too. I wrote a similar one for my review of the Safari Megacerops.
For me, the Eofauna deinotherium is the best deinotherium made to date and far exceeds the other PVC versions. A masterpiece with this is all said.
I congratulate Lanthanotus for this beautiful article and for his excellent initial illustrative story about the life of that prehistoric creature.