Stegodons (Stegodontidae: Proboscidea) were a widespread and diverse family of proboscideans dating from the late Miocene to the Late Pleistocene of Africa and Asia.
Thus, we do not consider either of these factors to have contributed significantly to their extinction.
In the absence of these, we propose that their extinction was possibly the result of long-term demographic and genetic declines associated with an isolated island population.
They are a charismatic Asian example of the ‘island rule’: the ecological processes proposed to explain the phenomenon by which large-bodied insular animals become smaller than mainland forms, and small-bodied animals become larger (Foster, 1964; Lomolino et al., 2013).
Stegodons are thus important for understanding some key biological phenomena including the dispersal abilities of large-bodied mammals and the evolutionary mechanisms of island dwarfing.
As noted in our Reply (Fassett et al., 2012) to Koenig et al.