, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 57-75
Date: 13 Dec 2011

A New Rhinoceros, Victoriaceros kenyensis gen. et sp. nov., and Other Perissodactyla from the Middle Miocene of Maboko, Kenya

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Abstract

The middle Miocene site of Maboko (Lake Victoria, Kenya), dated to ca. 15 Ma, has yielded one of the best collection of rhinos in Africa. The most common taxon, Victoriaceros kenyensis n.gen., n.sp., is represented by an almost perfect skull (whose main features are the large nasal horn, an orbit located very anteriorly and with a prominent border, and very broad zygomatic arches) and numerous limb bones, probably belonging to only a few individuals. Characters of the teeth and skull support an assignment to the subfamily Elasmotheriinae, a group best known in the middle and upper Miocene, but whose monophyly is disputable, as some of their tooth characters could be adaptations to a grazing diet (in agreement with their distribution in the Maboko beds). In any case, Victoriaceros clearly differs from other East African middle Miocene rhinos, whose diversity is far greater than currently assumed. A few other specimens attest to the occurrence at Maboko of at least one other species, perhaps close to the brachypotheres; a single calcaneum is tentatively assigned to the Chalicotheriidae.