The Neogene rhinoceroses of Namibia
Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research
Since 1991 the Namibia Palaeontology Expedition has excavated four Miocene sites in the Sperrgebiet, three of which (Arrisdrift, Fiskus and Auchas Mine) are new. Only the material from Arrisdrift and a single bone from Langental are specifically determinable. All but one of the 81 rhinocerotid fossils from Arrisdrift constitute a homogeneous sample pertaining to a very large species of cursorial rhino. The exception is an isolated magnum which suggests a small to medium-sized short legged form, perhaps Chilotheridium pattersoni. A magnum from Langental probably represents Brachypotherium heinzelini. The large form from Arrisdrift seems to be the largest of the Miocene African Rhinos; the size and proportions of the metapodials and the other limb bones suggest an analogy with Diceros gr. pachygnathus-neumayri of the Upper Miocene of the Near East; the type of construction of the upper cheek teeth, namely die fourth premolar, is of Dicerotine type and presents, as do the dimensions, close resemblances with Diceros douariensis of the Upper Miocene of North Africa and Italy; the mandible shows analogies with the Dicerotines, especially the apparently short symphysis. This Rhino is Diceros australis nov. sp., so far the oldest known species of the subfamily.
Neogene, Namibia, Sperrgebiet, Arrisdrift, Perissodactyla, Rhinocerotidae, Diceros australis