Large ungulates from the basal Oligocene of Oman: 2 - Proboscidea


Knowledge about the Palaeogene fossil record of the Arabian Peninsula has improved recently due to discoveries of Eocene – Oligocene age in Oman and Saudi Arabia. In the early 1990’s primitive proboscideans were listed from Thaytiniti (Early Oligocene) in Oman, but the fossils were never described. Subsequently a proximal unla from the Dhofar was attributed to an arsinoitheres, but it is more likely to belong to a proboscidean than an embrithopod. Recently a lower jaw from the same region was described as the barytheriid Omanitherium. The present paper describes and illustrates the fossils collected at Thaytiniti and Taqah in 1992 and identifies them as the first known upper teeth of Omanitherium. The significance of these fossils for understanding the taxonomy and systematics of Omanitherium are discussed, and it is concluded that among all the known Proboscidea, this genus is most closely related to Arcanotherium from the Eo-Oligocene of Dor el Talha, Libya

Palabras clave

Palaeogene, Oman, Proboscidea, Omanitherium, Arcanotherium

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