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New Oligocene Hyracoids from Egypt

D. Tab Rasmussen and Elwyn L. Simons
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Vol. 8, No. 1 (Mar. 31, 1988), pp. 67-83
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4523175
Page Count: 17
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New Oligocene Hyracoids from Egypt
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Abstract

New specimens of hyracoids collected from the Jebel Qatrani Formation, Fayum, Egypt, provide additional information about the evolutionary radiation of Hyracoidea during the early Oligocene. The genus Pachyhyrax is revised on the basis of well-preserved specimens of the lower dentition, and "Pachyhyrax" pygmaeus is transferred to the genus Thyrohyrax. A new species of Titanohyrax and a new species of Saghatherium are described from the upper part of the Jebel Qatrani Formation. We also describe a new monotypic genus, Selenohyrax, which has more gracile, selenodont teeth than any other Oligocene hyracoid. The Fayum hyracoids represent an unusually diverse radiation of herbivorous mammals that were probably ecologically differentiated from each other by size and dietary specialization. The diverse radiation of hyracoids and their later decimation when ungulate groups arrived from the northern continents are somewhat analogous to the radiation and extermination of litopterns and notoungulates in South America.

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