Journal of Mammalian Evolution

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 57–75 | Cite as

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

Original Paper

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.

Keywords

Mammalia Perissodactyla Rhinocerotidae Middle Miocene Kenya 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to E. Mbua and F. Kyalo Manthi for having allowed us to work in the KNM, to C. Argot, A. Currant, and M. Chalachew for giving access to the collections of the MNHN, NHML, and NME, respectively, and to H. Tsujikawa, M. Coombs and Deng Tao for their help. Funding for the excavation of fossils at Maboko between 1987 and 1997 was provided by National Science Foundation Grants SBR 9200951 and 9505778, National Geographic Foundation, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, and Fulbright individual and collaborative awards. Special thanks go to Kenyan preparator B. Onyango, KNM paleontology curator M. Muungu, and to the people of Maboko Island who helped excavate and map the fossils. We also thank J.R. Wible and two anonymous reviewers for their comments on the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denis Geraads
    • 1
  • Monte McCrossin
    • 2
  • Brenda Benefit
    • 2
  1. 1.CNRS UPR2147ParisFrance
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyNew Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA

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