Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

A new late Miocene elasmotheriine rhinoceros from Morocco

Denis Geraads and Samir Zouhri

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica in press
available online 19 Oct 2021 doi:https://doi.org/10.4202/app.00904.2021

We describe here the first definite representative of the subfamily Elasmotheriinae in North Africa. It comes from theupper Miocene site of Skoura near Ouarzazate, on the southern slope of the Central High Atlas in Morocco. It consistsof a virtually complete skull with articulated mandible and a few fragmentary postcranial remains, making it by far thebest known elasmotheriine from the African late Miocene. We assign it to a new taxon, Eoazara xerrii gen. et sp. nov.The skull is characterized by long nasal bones indicating a strong horn and long, anteriorly expanded, edentulous premaxillae.Compared to other Rhinocerotidae, the face is moderately elongated; the lower incisors are of medium size; andthe premolar row is short. The upper molars have a strongly pinched protocone, a long antecrochet, and an unexpandedcentral valley. Eoazara xerrii gen. et sp. nov. is at a lower evolutionary grade than the Chinese species of Ningxiatherium and Parelasmotherium, but probably comparable to the very incomplete remains from the East African late Mioceneforms. We regard Eoazara as a member of a chiefly Eurasian clade, rather than as a survivor of a hypothetical Africanelasmotheriine branch. Parsimony analysis confirms the monophyly of the Elasmotheriinae, but that of the remainingRhinocerotidae is questionable.

Key words: Mammalia, Rhinocerotidae, Elasmotheriinae, Miocene, Morocco.

Denis Geraads [denis.geraads@mnhn.fr, ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2475-8011], Centre de Recherche en Paléontologie- Paris, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle-CNRS-Sorbonne Université, CP 38, 8 rue Buffon, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France. Samir Zouhri [samirzouhri@yahoo.fr, ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3811-9977], Department of Geology, Aïn Chock Faculty of Sciences, Hassan II University of Casablanca, Km 8, route d’El Jadida, BP 5366 Maârif, 20100 Casablanca, Morocco.


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