What are proboscideans?

What are proboscideans? Here are some definitions.

Noun
  1. plural of proboscidean
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The team found several species of archaic proboscideans called Palaeomastodons previously known from 32-million-year-old coastal sediments in Fayum, Egypt.
In addition, because they are believed to be the sister group to proboscideans, their aquatic preferences raise interesting evolutionary questions.
The fact most fossil proboscideans in Michigan have been excavated from former shallow basins of kettle bog sites attests to this hypothesis.
The earliest known proboscideans, the clade that contains the elephants, existed about 55 million years ago around the Tethys Sea area.
If climate was the culprit, then people and proboscideans should have shared some of the same territory, at least until climate change shrunk proboscidean habitat.
The current study adds to the fossil record two recently investigated proboscideans from Nogal, New Mexico.

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