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Stephanorhinus kirchbergensis (Rhinocerotidae, Mammalia) from the Rhino Cave in Shennongjia, Hubei


The Rhino Cave, a Paleolithic site in Shennongjia, is the highest altitude locality of rhinoceros in the Middle-South part of China, and it is also the southernmost and the richest locality in Stephanorhinus kirchbergensis fossils which include cranium, mandibles, isolated teeth and postcranials. These materials can be referred to the species Stephanorhinus kirchbergensis according to the following characters: incisorless, mandibular symphysis contracted, occiput high, subaural channel closed, with nasal and frontal horns, nasal septum partially ossified, premolars hypsodont and cheekteeth with smooth enamel surface, etc.; except its relatively shorter limb bones. In China, all the Pleistocene non-Coelodonta tandem-horned rhinoceroses were assigned to the genus Dicerorhinus in the past decades. From today’s viewpoint, most of them should be included in the genus Stephanorhinus, because Dicerorhinus is quite different from Stephanorhinus in the following characters: smaller body size, generally unossified nasal septum, subaural channel open and with reduced incisors, etc. This is the first knowledge of Stephanorhinus kirchbergensis associated with Ailuropoda-Stegodon fauna, the typical Pleistocene mammalian fauna in South China.

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Zhoukoudian (=Chou-kou-tien)


Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology






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Shennongjia Museum of Natural History




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Correspondence to HaoWen Tong.

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Tong, H., Wu, X. Stephanorhinus kirchbergensis (Rhinocerotidae, Mammalia) from the Rhino Cave in Shennongjia, Hubei. Chin. Sci. Bull. 55, 1157–1168 (2010).

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  • Stephanorhinus kirchbergensis
  • Rhino Cave
  • Shennongjia
  • Hubei
  • Late Pleistocene