Jean-Renaud Boisserie and W. Henry Gilbert

in Homo erectus

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780520251205
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933774 | DOI:

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The family Hippopotamidae is represented by two living species: Choeropsis liberiensis (Liberian hippo), a secretive mammal from western equatorial coasts of Africa; and Hippopotamus amphibius (common hippo), known from most sub-Saharan countries, a much larger and better-known animal. With only two modern representatives, knowledge about hippo evolutionary history relies mostly on fossils and morphology. This chapter examines hippotamid fossils found in the Daka Member, which has a number of well-preserved hippopotamid fossils, all of which belong to the genus Hippopotamus. Hippopotamus are generally easy to distinguish, particularly based on the morphology of their anterior dentition. Specimens of Hippopotamus include a perfectly preserved complete cranium, two relatively complete mandibles, 12 other fragmentary craniodental remains (mostly isolated teeth), and a phalanx.

Keywords: Hippopotamidae; Choeropsis liberiensis; Hippopotamus amphibius; hippotamid; Hippopotamus

Chapter.  5028 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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