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A new anthracothere (Artiodactyla) from the early Oligocene, Fayum, Egypt, and the mystery of African ‘Rhagatherium’ solved

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 June 2016

Afifi H. Sileem
Vertebrate Paleontology Section, Cairo Geological Museum, Cairo, Egypt 〈〉
Hesham M. Sallam
Mansoura University Vertebrate Paleontology Center, Department of Geology, Mansoura University, Mansoura, 35516, Egypt 〈〉
Abdel Galil A. Hewaidy
Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, Al-Azhar University, Egypt 〈〉
Ellen R. Miller
Department of Anthropology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27106, USA 〈〉
Gregg F. Gunnell
Division of Fossil Primates, Duke Lemur Center, Durham, North Carolina 27705, USA 〈〉


Recent work on new anthracothere (Mammalia, Artiodactyla) specimens from the Jebel Qatrani Formation, early Oligocene, Fayum, Egypt, has revealed the presence of a new genus. Nabotherium new genus is described on the basis of a partial skull, several mandibular and maxillary specimens, and isolated teeth. The new genus exhibits a distinctive combination of features not seen in other Paleogene anthracotheres. The most noticeable characteristics of the new genus include the presence of large and well-developed upper and lower canines, caniniform third incisors, the presence of only a short diastema between the canine and first premolar, and broad, bunodont cheek teeth. This is in contrast to other contemporary anthracotheres, including other forms from the Fayum, which show a spatulate third incisor, a reduced canine, a much longer canine-premolar diastema, and more narrow, bunoselenodont cheek teeth. The presence of a relatively short rostrum with closely packed incisors, low-crowned and simple premolars, and low-crowned, bunodont molars indicates that members of the new genus would have been more efficient at crushing foods than slicing vegetation, and suggests a more varied herbivorous and frugivorous diet than was favored by other, more bunoselenodont Fayum anthracotheres.

Copyright © 2016, The Paleontological Society 

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