New Rhinocerotidae from the Kisingiri localities (lower Miocene of western Kenya)

We describe new material of Rhinocerotidae recently collected in western Kenya. A skull from Karungu is one of the best-preserved Miocene skulls in Africa. It differs substantially from that of Rusingaceros leakeyi, the only other relatively well-known rhino from this region and age, in its degree of brachycephaly, possession of a deep nasal notch, and long nasal bones that probably carried a horn of moderate size. Miocene African rhinos are still too poorly known to resolve their phylogenetic relationships, but we tentatively assign this skull to a new species of Victoriaceros, a genus whose type species comes from the younger site of Maboko, although the Karungu skull has a much smaller nasal horn. A parsimony analysis resolves them as sister species within the Elasmotheriini, close to the other African genera Turkanatherium and Chilotheridium, but we consider this result debatable, as Victoriaceros differs considerably from them. Still, they might all be descended from European forms. A partial skull from Gumba is assigned to the Aceratheriini, making it one of the earliest representatives of this group and suggesting that the origin of this tribe could be African.

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Citation for this article: Geraads, D., T. Lehmann, D. J. Peppe, and K. P. McNulty. 2016. New Rhinocerotidae from the Kisingiri localities (lower Miocene of western Kenya). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2016.1103247.