Sumatran rhinoceroses Dicerorhinus sumatrensis at Cincinnati Zoo, copyright Charles W. Hardin.

Belongs within: Ceratomorpha.

The Rhinocerotidae, rhinoceroses, are a group of large, heavy-bodied ungulates with living species in Africa and tropical Asia, though fossil representatives have a broader distribution in Eurasia and North America. Members of this group have more or less well-developed keratinous horns; Diceros, Ceratotherium and Dicerorhinus have one horn on the snout and one above the eyes whereas species of Rhinoceros possess the nose horn only.

Characters (from Animal Diversity Web): Body massive; skin thick, scantily-haired and wrinkled, furrowed or pleated, producing appearance of riveted armor plates in some species. Head large with one or two dermal horns composed of compressed, fibrous keratin; eyes small; ears fairly short but prominent and erect. Skull elongate, elevated posteriorly. Braincase small; nasal bones projecting forward freely, may extend beyond and above premaxillae; surface of nasals roughened beneath horns; occipital crest strongly developed. 24-34 teeth present, dental formula 1-2/0-1, 0/1-1, 3-4/3-4, 3/3; canines and incisors vestigial except for sometimes lower incisors which may be developed into powerful slashing tusks; cheek teeth with prominent transverse lophs of enamel. Chest broad; legs short, stumpy legs. Radius/ulna and tibia/fibula only slightly moveable but well-developed and separate. Fore- and hind feet mesaxonic with 3 digits each; each digit with a small hoof. Tail with stiff bristles.

<==Rhinocerotidae [Rhinocerotoidea]
    |--Diceros Gray 1821 FS15, H78
    |    |--D. bicornis H78
    |    |    |--D. b. bicornis R86
    |    |    |--D. b. brucii R86
    |    |    `--D. b. michaeli R86
    |    |--D. douariensis H78
    |    `--D. pachygnathus H78
    `--+--Ceratotherium Gray 1867 FS15, H78
       |    |--C. praecox Hooijer & Patterson 1972 H78
       |    `--C. simum H78
       |         |--C. s. simum H78
       |         |--C. s. cottoni BP87
       |         `--C. s. germanoafricanum H78
       `--+--Rhinoceros Linnaeus 1758 FS15, L58
          |    |--R. bicornis Linnaeus 1758 L58
          |    |--R. indicus C77
          |    |--R. sondaicus SM06
          |    |    |--R. s. sondaicus SM06
          |    |    `--R. s. annamiticus Heude 1892 SM06
          |    `--R. unicornis Linnaeus 1758 L58
          `--+--Dicerorhinus Gloger 1841 FS15, H78
             |    |--D. africanus Arambourg 1970 H78
             |    |--D. leakeyi Hooijer 1966 H78
             |    |--D. merckii FP64
             |    |--D. primaevus Arambourg 1959 H78
             |    |--D. ringstromi DW04
             |    |--D. sansaniensis H78
             |    |--D. schleiermacheri H78
             |    |--D. sumatrensis H78
             |    `--D. tagicus H78
             `--+--Coelodonta Blumenbach 1807 FS15, D07
                |    |--C. antiquitatis FS15
                |    `--C. nihowanensis DW04
                `--Stephanorhinus FS15
                     |--S. etruscus [=Rhinoceros etruscus, Dicerorhinus etruscus] ME05
                     |    |--S. e. etruscus ME05
                     |    `--‘Dicerorhinus’ e. brachycephalus ME05
                     |--S. hemitoechus FS15
                     |--S. hundsheimensis ME05
                     `--S. kirchbergensis FS15

Rhinocerotidae incertae sedis:
  Allacerops DW04
  Chilotherium H78
    |--C. anderssoni DW04
    |--C. palaeosinense CS04
    `--C. wimani DW04
  Tichorhinus antiquitates B61
  Trigonias Lucas 1900 D07
    |--T. osborni D07
    |--T. wellsi D07
    `--T. yoderensis D07
  Chilotheridium Hooijer 1971 H78
    `--*C. pattersoni Hooijer 1971 H78
  Aceratherium Kaup 1832 H78
    |--A. acutirostratum (Deraniyagala 1951) [=Turkanatherium acutirostratus] H78
    |--A. incisivum H78
    |--A. lemanense H78
    `--A. occidentale C77
  Brachypotherium Roger 1904 H78
    |--B. aurelianense (Nouel 1866) [=Rhinoceros aurelianensis, Teleoceras aurelianense] H78
    |--B. brachypus H78
    |--B. goldfussi H78
    |--B. heinzelini Hooijer 1963 H78
    |--B. lewisi Hooijer & Patterson 1972 H78
    |--B. perimense CS04
    |--B. snowi (Fourtau 1920) [=Teleoceras snowi] H78
    `--B. stehlini Viret 1961 H78
  0--Aphelops Cope 1873 H78, C77
  |    |--A. crassus [=Rhinocerus crassus] C77
  |    |--A. jemezanus Cope 1877 C77
  |    |--A. megalodus C77
  |    `--A. meridianus [=Rhinocerus meridianus] C77
  `--Teleoceras Hatcher 1894 H78
       |--T. fossiger D07
       |--T. guymonense D07
       |--T. hicksi D07
       |--T. major D07
       |--T. medicornutum H78
       |--T. meridianum D07
       `--T. proterum D07
  Paradiceros Hooijer 1968 H78
    `--P. mukirii Hooijer 1968 H78
  Hyrachyus Leidy 1870 HUG17, D07 [Hyrachyidae]
    |--H. asiaticus D07
    |--H. eximius D07
    |--H. modestus D07
    `--H. singularis Cope 1875 C77

Inorganic: Rhinoceros unicornis protominilorientalis Okamura 1987 O87

*Type species of generic name indicated


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[CS04] Chaimanee, Y., V. Suteethorn, P. Jintasakul, C. Vidthayanon, B. Murandat & J.-J. Jaeger. 2004. A new orang-utan relative from the Late Miocene of Thailand. Nature 427: 439–441.

[C77] Cope, E. D. 1877. Report upon the extinct Vertebrata obtained in New Mexico by parties of the expedition of 1874. Geographical Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian 4 (2): i–iv, 1–370.

[DW04] Deng T., Wang X., Ni X. & Liu L. 2004. Sequence of the Cenozoic mammalian faunas of the Linxia Basin in Gansu, China. Acta Geologica Sinica (English Edition) 78 (1): 8–14.

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[FS15] Faurby, S., & J.-C. Svenning. 2015. A species-level phylogeny of all extant and late Quaternary extinct mammals using a novel heuristic-hierarchical Bayesian approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 14–26.

[FP64] Fisher, J., & R. T. Peterson. 1964. The World of Birds: A comprehensive guide to general ornithology. Macdonald: London.

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[H78] Hooijer, D. A. 1978. Rhinocerotidae. In: Maglio, V. J., & H. B. S. Cooke (eds) Evolution of African Mammals pp. 371–378. Harvard University Press: Cambridge (Massachusetts).

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[ME05] Moullé, P.-E., A. Echassoux, F. Lacombat, E. Desclaux & S. Bailon. 2005. L’environnement animal des premiers habitants de l’Europe méditerranéenne: les grands mammifères contemporains de l’homme du Vallonnet, données taxonomiques et biostratigraphiques pour la deuxième moitie du Pléistocène inférieur. BAR International Series 1364: 105–113.

[O87] Okamura, C. 1987. New facts: Homo and all Vertebrata were born simultaneously in the former Paleozoic in Japan. Original Report of the Okamura Fossil Laboratory 15: 347–573.

[R86] Ryder, O. A. 1986. Species conservation and systematics: the dilemma of subspecies. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 1 (1): 9–10.

[SM06] Schwendinger, P., & J. Martens. 2006. A taxonomic revision of the family Oncopodidae V. Gnomulus from Vietnam and China, with the description of five new species (Opiliones, Laniatores). Revue Suisse de Zoologie 113 (3): 595–615.

Last updated: 31 July 2018.

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