Chapter

Rhinocerotidae

Denis Geraads

in Cenozoic Mammals of Africa

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780520257214
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945425 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520257214.003.0034
Rhinocerotidae

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Among the Perissodactyla, Rhinocerotidae have traditionally been allied with tapirs because they lack a mesostyle, even though other primitive perissodactyls may also lack it. The most parsimonious recent cladistic analyses, using no less than 282 characters, unite under the Rhinocerotini (which includes the bulk of the Rhinocerotinae) as an unresolved trichotomy, the Teleoceratina (Old and New World brachypotheres), the Aceratheriina (Old World aceratheres and related forms), and the Rhinocerotina (non-elasmothere Old World horned rhinos); the Elasmotheriini are the sister group of the Rhinocerotinae. There are five living species, all of them seriously threatened or even close to extinction: Dicerorhinus sumatrensis, found in Sumatra and the Malaysian peninsula; Rhinoceros sondaicus, R. unicornis, also from southeastern Asia; Ceratotheriumsimum; and Diceros bicornis. Some morphological cladistic analysis and mitochondrial gene sequencing suggests that, among living forms, African rhinos are the sister group of Dicerorhinus + Rhinoceros. This chapter describes the systematic paleontology of Rhinocerotidae.

Keywords: Rhinocerotidae; paleontology; tapirs; perissodactyls; Rhinocerotini; Teleoceratina; Aceratheriina; Rhinocerotina; rhinos; Rhinoceros

Chapter.  13432 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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