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Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis (Rhinocerontidae, Mammalia) teeth from the early Middle Pleistocene of Isernia La Pineta (Molise, Italy) and comparison with coeval British material

By Ballatore M. and Breda M.


In the present work we examine the abundant dental remains from the renowned anthropic site of Isernia La Pineta (Molise, Italy), early Middle Pleistocene (Middle Galerian). The rhinoceros, Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis, is the most represented species after the Bison and is represented mainly by skull and dental remains and by strongly fractured long bones (suggesting exploitation of the carcasses by the hominine). The high sample size of the dental remains allowed a detailed analysis of the dental morphology. The frequency analysis of the morphological characters shows a high degree of regional variation within the species with the Isernia population significantly widening the morphological variability of S. hundsheimensis (thus limiting the diagnostic power of several characters). In particular, comparing S. hundsheimensis from Isernia with coeval British populations, we could safely assign to S. hundsheimensis some specimens that do look strongly anomalous within the British sample but find a match in the wider morphological range of the Isernia specimens. From a biometrical point of view, the Isernia population attains slightly smaller sizes than the coeval British specimens, suggesting a latitudinal size-increase gradient

Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.quaint.2013.02.002
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