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Paläontologische Zeitschrift


Within the fossil collection from the Sandelzhausen Lagerstätte in the Upper Freshwater Molasse near Mainburg, Germany, are remains of the schizotheriine chalicothere Metaschizotherium bavaricum, von Koenigswald, 1932. This new material includes elements from a large part of the body, and allows the dentition and postcranial skeleton of Metaschizotherium to be described in detail for the first time. At approximately 16 Ma (MN5), M. bavaricum is now the best-known Early and Middle Miocene European schizotheriine and is important for comparative studies. It differs to some degree from earlier Miocene (MN2–MN4) European material attributed to Moropus sp. or Metaschizotherium wetzleri (Kowalewsky, 1873) and to a larger degree from the Late Miocene species Ancylotherium pentelicum (Gaudry and Lartet, 1856). At Sandelzhausen, M. bavaricum apparently lived in a moist forested environment, where it probably fed on leaves, fruit, and seeds. Members of the Chalicotheriinae, such as Anisodon and Chalicotherium, are not found at Sandelzhausen and may not have been present in Europe at this time. M. bavaricum, like other Schizotheriinae, did not have the bizarre gorilla-like proportions of the Chalicotheriinae. Instead, its general body proportions resemble those of contemporary schizotheriine chalicotheres on other continents, for example, Moropus from North America. M. bavaricum is slightly smaller than the type species of Metaschizotherium, M. fraasi von Koenigswald, 1932 (MN6–MN7) and differs from it in small ways that are still being explored as variation within and differences between these species are clarified. The schizotheriine chalicothere from La Grive St.-Alban (France) referred to M. fraasi by von Koenigswald (Palaeontographica, Beitrage zur Naturgeschichte der Vorzeit 8:1–24, 1932) and Viret (Nouvelles Archives Musée d’Histoire Naturelle de Lyon 6:53–81, 1961) should be restudied and referred to a different taxon.








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