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The first description of Rhinocerotidae (Perissodactyla, Mammalia) from Xinyaozi Ravine in Shanxi, North China
DONG Wei, BAI Wei-Peng, ZHANG Li-Min
Vertebrata Palasiatica    2021, 59 (4): 273-294.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.210715
Abstract   (254 HTML33 PDF(pc) (3880KB)(162)  

Abundant mammalian fossils were uncovered during the field exploration for Nihewan beds at the beginning of the 1980s along Xinyaozi Ravine at Nangaoya Township of Tianzhen County, Shanxi Province in North China and the studied taxa indicate an age of the early Early Pleistocene. Recent studies on the rhino material not yet described show that there are at least two species of rhinocerotids: Elasmotherium peii and Coelodonta nihowanensis . There might be a third taxon provisionally named as Stephanorhinus cf. S. kirchbergensis due to incompleteness of the specimens. Since its morphometric characters are between S. kirchbergensis and C. nihowanensis , it might be a variety of one of the two species although it is more similar to the former than the latter. In the same way, The rhino specimens from Xiashagou named as Rhinoceros sinensis (?) by Teilhard de Chardin and Piveteau (1930) might be a variety of S. kirchbergensis or C. nihowanensis . The rhinocerotids uncovered so far from the Early Pleistocene deposits in the generalized Nihewan Basin including two certain species and two uncertain ones. The localities yielding E. peii include Xiashagou, Shanshenmiaozhui, Daheigou and Xinyaozi; those yielding C. nihowanensis include Xiashagou, Danangou, Donggutuo, Shanshenmiaozhui and Xinyaozi. R. sinensis (?) appeared only at Xiashagou and Stephanorhinus cf. S. kirchbergensis only at Xinyaozi.


Fig. 3 A broken mandible (IVPP V 27429.3) of Stephanorhinus cf. S. kirchbergensis from Xinyaozi Ravine in buccal (A), occlusal (B) and lingual (C) views
Extracts from the Article
The specimens V 27429.3-5 are three left mandibular fragments with deciduous cheek dentitions ( Figs. 3-4). Specimen V 27429.3 is relatively well preserved with large part of mandibular body, a small part of mandibular ramus and complete deciduous dentition ( Fig. 3). The body is thick in occlusal view, posteriorly deep (high) but anteriorly shallow (low) in lateral view. The dp4 is located just behind the symphysis. The specimens V 27429.4-5 are more fragmental, with dp2-4 and dp3-4 respectively (Fig. 4). The enamel and dentine layers of lower deciduous cheek teeth are thin, while the cavities are large (Fig. 4F). The lower deciduous dental measurements are listed in Table 3.
Compared with S. kirchbergensis from other localities, the morphology and dental dimensions of V 27429.3-5 ( Figs. 3-4) are close to those of Loc. 13 of Zhoukoudian and Rhino Cave in Shennongjia, e.g. the enamel surface of cheek teeth is smooth, parastylid is well developed but without paraconid rib on dp2 and dp3. Their dental dimensions are also close to those of West Europe (Table 3).
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