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A mastodon is a large, thick-skinned, herbivore that is not very common in the dungeon.
While the mastodon does resemble the modern elephant, the modern elephant is not a direct descendant of the mastodon. The elephant that we know today is actually descended from the mammoth.
Although having a moderate speed as compared to horses, mastodons can be tamed for the purposes of riding. Since it has a very good attack, it will make a strong melee-fighting pet.
Consider zapping a tame mastodon (as with any motile pet) with a wand of speed monster, particularly if you are riding it and/or don't have a magic whistle.
Note that in SLASH'EM they are represented by q, identical to the far less dangerous rothe.
Any large, elephantlike mammal of the genera Mammut, Mastodon,
etc., from the Oligocene and Pleistocene epochs, having
conical projections on the molar teeth.
[ Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language ]