Research paper

A new suoid with tubulidentate, hypselorhizic cheek teeth from the early Miocene of Córcoles, Spain

CR2P/UMR 7207 – Sorbonne Université – MNHN, CNRS, UPMC, Université Paris VI, T.46-56, E.5, case 104, 4 Place Jussieu, 75252 Paris cedex 05, France.
Corresponding author

Departamento de Paleobiología, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales-CSIC – C/José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006, Madrid, Spain.


Excavations at Córcoles, Guadalajara, Spain (MN 4) in October 1987, yielded a mandible and several isolated teeth of a strange suiform with tubulidentate cheek teeth, initially interpreted to be the remains of Tubulidentata. The specimens are complete enough to remove any doubt about which Order (Artiodactyla) and Superfamily (Suoidea) they belong to. They are here attributed to the Family Doliochoeridae, being related to the genera Bransatochoerus (MP 30) and Lorancahyus (MN 2) both of which have hypsorhizic cheek teeth, the latter with tubules in the teeth, but not to the fully-expressed extent seen in the fossils from Córcoles and the molars retain a distinct and large pulp cavity, which is absent in the Córcoles species. It is inferred that these suoids comprise an evolutionary lineage which went extinct in the early Miocene (ca MN 4b or MN 5) and that the dental specialisations imply ingestion of food to which soil was adhering, which caused excessive abrasion of the teeth, not only occlusally, but also on the lingual aspects of the cheek teeth. Examination of the occlusal and lingual surfaces of the teeth confirm the presence of many pits and large scratches on them, in contrast to the buccal and distal surfaces of the teeth which have few scratches or none, respectively.

Key words: Hyposorhizy, hypselorhizy, tubulidenty, dental adaptations, Suoidea, early Miocene, Western Europe.

How to cite: Pickford, M. & Morales, J. 2018. A new suoid with tubulidentate, hypselorhizic cheek teeth from the early Miocene of Córcoles, Spain. Spanish Journal of Palaeontology, 33 (2), 321-344.

Received 9 July 2018, Accepted 17 October 2018, Published 31 December 2018