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Tapirus yunnanensis from Shuitangba, a terminal Miocenehominoid site in Zhaotong, Yunnan Province of China
Yunnan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology & Research Center for Southeast Asian Archeology Kunming 650118, China.
Department of Anthropology, the Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA 16802, USA.
Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing 100044, China.
Department of Paleobotany and Paleoecology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.
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2015 (English)In: Vertebrata Palasiatica, Vol. 53, no 3, 177-192 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The fossil tapirid records of Late Miocene and Early Pliocene were quite poor in Chinaas before known. The recent excavations of the terminal Miocene hominoid site (between 6 and6.5 Ma) at Shuitangba site, Zhaotong in Yunnan Province resulted in the discovery of rich tapirfossils, which include left maxilla with P2-M2 and mandibles with complete lower dentitions.The new fossil materials can be referred to Tapirus yunnanensis, which represents a quite small species of the genus Tapirus. But T. yunnanensis is slightly larger than another Late Miocenespecies T. hezhengensis from Gansu, northwest China, both of which are remarkably smallerthan the Plio-Pleistocene Tapirus species in China. The new fossils provided more information todefine the species T. yunnanensis more precisely. Yunnan can be regarded as one of the centers oftapir evolution during the Mid-Late Miocene period, as quite a number of Mid-Late Miocene tapirfossils have been recovered in several localities of Yunnan, which include Xiaolongtan, Yuanmou,Lufeng, Zhaotong and others. Based on the measurements of tooth size, the late Cenozoic tapirswere generally getting larger gradually through time in China, which means the tooth sizescoincide well with their geological ages, the later the larger, and all the Mid-Late Miocene tapirsare exclusively small-sized; thus, the tooth size of fossil tapirs in China is likely to have somesignificance in age estimation. By contrary, both the dwarf and the normal-sized or larger-sizedtapirs were discovered from Mid-Late Miocene strata in Europe and North America.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 53, no 3, 177-192 p.
Keyword [en]
Shuitangba, Zhaotong, Yunnan, terminal Miocene, hominoid site, Tapirus yunnanensis
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Earth Science with specialization in Historical Geology and Palaeontology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-270312OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-270312DiVA: diva2:889556
Available from: 2015-12-27 Created: 2015-12-27 Last updated: 2015-12-27

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