Gray Site


Teleoceras Rhinoceros

All magnifications refer to a 13 inch (32 cm) wide screen set to 800 x 600 pixels. The scanning resolution, directly proportional to magnification, is included as the last part of the file name. Right-click the image to obtain this information.

Earl Manning, Tulane University New Orleans, kindly provided the following ingformation, and the diagnoses used in the keys.

All of the material appears to derive from the forelimbs of a single adult Teleoceras individual, a grazing rhino ecologically more like a hippo than a modern rhino.   Both unciforms show medial projections on their posterior processes. This suggests a late Hemphillian age (latest Miocene to earliest Pliocene) for the Gray Site Teleoceras, as it's a feature only common at the end of its lineage. It's part of an aborted attempt by Teleoceras to form a posterior articulation between the magnum and unciform, in order to stabilize the wrist (and attempt to fuse the two bones). The genus became extinct, along with other American rhinos, in the earliest Pliocene before the feature became well developed.

Harrison, J. A., and E. M. Manning, 1983. Extreme carpal variability in Teleoceras (Rhinocerotidae, Mammalia). Jour. Vert. Paleont., 3(1):58-64.

He also mentions the possibility of finding the remains of Aphelops, a taller browsing rhinoceros that lived in contemporaneous association with the grazing semi-aquatic Teleoceras.

See http://www.avph.hpg.ig.com.br/teleoceras.htm (Portuguese site) for a reconstruction of the animal in life.


 

2/3 magnification. The bone on the left above was pictured on the front page of the Knoxville News Sentinel, uncredited. It is poorly preserved, and probably damaged by earthmoving activities. Parts of it turn to mush when wet. In a news item by reporter Fred Brown, Dr. Paul Parmalee of the University of Tennessee McClung Museum and Dr. Walter Klippel announced on September 18, 2000 that these had been identified as coming from Teleoceras, a small rhinoceros that lived in the Miocene Epoch. The identification was made by Dr. Michael R. Voorhies of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln http://www.unl.edu/geosciences/mrv/mrv.html who was involved in the discovery of the Ashfall fossil beds there. Earl Manning indicates these are two lower forelimb long bones, a partial right radius (proximal at bottom) on the left, and a partial right ulna (distal at bottom) on the right.

These, and all bones pictured below were recovered from blocks of disturbed weathered material dumped in a small area for a temporary road bed, and subsequently obliterated.



Sections of rib bone, 2/3X. Many short sections were recovered,
encased in a few broken blocks of stiff clay. These have a flat airfoil-
like cross-section.


 


Carpals and metacarpals, natural size The two on the right are a left-right pair.

left magnum,
missing the post. process,
proximal view
right pisiform,
prox. at bottom
partial left pisiform,
proximal at top
right unciform,
distal view
left metacarpal (MC 4),
anterior view
left MC 2 in anterior view left unciform,
distal view

 


Opposite sides of bones in previous figure, natural size.

left magnum,
missing the post. process,
distal view
right pisiform,
prox. at top
partial left pisiform,
proximal at bottom
right unciform,
proximal view
left metacarpal (MC 4),
posterior view
left MC 2 in posterior view left unciform,
proximal view

 



Additional carpal bones, natural size. The two on the upper right are a left-right pair.

trapezium,
proximal view
left cuneiform,
lateral view
right cuneiform,
lateral view
prox. right MC 3
posterior view
right scaphoid,
distal view
right lunar,
lateral view

 


Opposite sides of bones in previous figure

trapezium,
distal view
left cuneiform,
medial view
right cuneiform,
medial view
prox. right MC 3,
anterior view
right scaphoid,
medial view
right lunar,
medial view

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