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New fossils of small and medium-sized bovids from the Early Site of Shanshenmiaozui in Nihewan Basin, North China
TONG Hao-Wen, ZHANG Bei, CHEN Xi, WANG Xiao-Min
Vertebrata Palasiatica    2022, 60 (2): 134-168.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.220413
Abstract   (181 HTML34 PDF(pc) (11536KB)(259)  

Shanshenmiaozui site in Nihewan Basin in North China is a recently discovered Early Pleistocene site which yields rich and diverse mammalian fossils. In the fauna, the small and medium-sized bovid fossils are well represented and can be referred to the following taxa: Spirocerus wongi, Gazella sinensis, Ovis shantungensis and Megalovis piveteaui respectively, among which G. sinensis is the dominate species. S. wongi and G. sinensis are mainly represented by horn-cores and partial skull bones as well as mandibles; in addition, metacarpal and/or metatarsal bones were also recognized for all of the four species. The horn-cores are easy to be identified to the species level, while the dentitions and the postcranial bones underwent a series of examinations and comparisons before getting properly determined and referred to the most approximate taxa. Among the postcranial bones, the metapodials, especially to the metacarpal bones special attentions were paid, which are crucial not only for taxonomic identification, but also for phylogenetic and paleoecological reconstructions; the previously misidentified metapodial specimens in Nihewan fauna were reconsidered in this paper. In the SSMZ fauna, the bovid guild is dominated by Gazella and Bison, which indicates steppe was the most important biome in Nihewan Basin during Early Pleistocene.

Dimensions S. wongi S. wongi S. wongi S. peii S. kiakhtensis
This paper Teilhard and Piveteau (1930) Bai et al. (2019) Young (1932) Dong et al. (2009)
Total length 283 290 264.3-353.8
270 151-160. 9#
Diameter of horn-core base (APD) 64.0-64.2 57-60 51.6-80.2 55 35.9#
Latero-medial diameter of horn-core base (TD) 49.3-51.4 43.5-54.5
Angle of divergence of horn-cores 50° 57°* about 70° 50°#
Cranial width at the horn bases 149.0 144* 134.1
Minimum distance between inner margins of horn processes 65.6 100* 51.7 64.2#
Distance between the supraorbital foramina (upper margin) 86.7 68.5* 63.2
Table 2 Measurements of the horn-cores of Spirocerus wongi, compared with related species (mm)
Extracts from the Article
Horn-core: The horn-core is a typical form of Spirocerus wongi, with rugose surface and only one spiral carena (or carène or keel) (Fig. 3B1-4), rather than two as in S. peii and S. kiakhtensis. The carena derives from the basal anterior part and heteronymously spirals upwardly (the left horn spirals anticlockwise but the right one spirals clockwise) and ends near the tip after finishing one complete revolution. The pedicle is quite short. The interior of the horn-core is nearly solid but with a complicated minor canal system (Fig. 3A1-2, C1-5), which resembles those of the true gazelles. The cross-section of the horn-core is elliptical (Fig. 3C1-5). Around the basal part of the horn-core, there are many nutrient foramina, among which the ones above the orbit are the largest (Fig. 3B2). The dimensions of the horn-cores are shown in Table 2.
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