Newly Discovered Crania of Nyanzachoerus jaegeri (Tetraconodontinae, Suidae, Mammalia) from the Woranso-Mille (Ethiopia) and Reappraisal of Its Generic Status

Hailay G. Reda, Ignacio A. Lazagabaster, Yohannes Haile-Selassie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Suids are among the most common mammalian groups in the Plio-Pleistocene vertebrate fossil record of Africa and the most studied largely due to their significance as biochronological indicators. However, despite their abundance in the fossil record, the remains are mostly isolated teeth and fragmentary crania and mandibles. As a result, disagreements have persisted in terms of their taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships. Here, we present for the first time a detailed description of the cranial anatomy of Nyanzachoerus jaegeri based on two crania recovered from middle Pliocene deposits of the Woranso-Mille paleontological study area, Afar region, Ethiopia. Understanding the cranial morphology of this species is particularly significant given the recent reclassification of Nyanzachoerus jaegeri to the genus Notochoerus based largely on the incisor and symphyseal morphology of specimens from Kanapoi, Kenya. Here, we show that the two genera are clearly distinguished from each other by distinct morphological features of the cranium such as the shape of the braincase, orientation of the zygomatic arches, and premolar/molar ratio, among others. Furthermore, we show that the mandibular and dental morphological features identified by some workers as characteristic of Notochoerus are variable among tetraconodont species and that Nyanzachoerus jaegeri best fits within the genus Nyanzachoerus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-199
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Mammalian Evolution
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ethiopia
  • Middle Pliocene
  • Notochoerus
  • Nyanzachoerus jaegeri
  • Suidae
  • Taxonomy
  • Woranso-Mille

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Newly Discovered Crania of Nyanzachoerus jaegeri (Tetraconodontinae, Suidae, Mammalia) from the Woranso-Mille (Ethiopia) and Reappraisal of Its Generic Status'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this