An extraordinary pattern of ruminant molars and associated cervids from the Pleistocene of Wushan, Central China
DONG Wei CHEN Shao-kun
Abstract Selenodont cheek teeth are diagnostic characteristics of ruminants, in which the upper molars are usually composed of four selenodont main cusps. During a local housing construction at Yantouxi near the Longgupo Site at Miaoyu Town of Wushan County in Chongqing Municipality of Central China, a mandibular fragment with extraordinary molars composed of five main selenodont cusps was uncovered with association of the Pleistocene Muntiacus sp. and Cervus (Rusa) unicolor. The morphological study shows that it is a new pattern of selenodont molars different from five-cusped upper molars of some tylopods such as anthracotheres and xiphodontids from the Paleogene as well as cainotheriids from the Oligocene to Miocene. The fifth selenodont cusp is interpreted as an overdevelopment of cingulum around the anterior lingual base of the protocone. The taxonomic status of the animal is placed temporarily in Muntiacinae as Muntiacus ? huangi sp. nov.
Key words Wushan, Chongqing, Pleistocene, ruminant, Artiodactyla, selenodont