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Denis Geraads1, Esperanza Cerdeño2, David García Fernandez3, Luca Pandolfi4, Emmanuel Billia5, Athanassios Athanassiou6, Ebru Albayrak7, Vlad Codrea8, Theodor Obada9, Tao Deng10, Haowen Tong10, Xiaokang Lu10, Štepán Pícha11, Adrian Marciszak12, Gordana Jovanovic13, Damien Becker14, Julia Zervanova15, Yasmina Chaïd Saoudi16, Anne-Marie Bacon17, Noémie Sévêque18, Rajeev Patnaik19, Jakub Brezina20, Nikolaï Spassov21, Antigone Uzunidis22.


This database is intended to provide a list of all Neogene and Quaternary Old World localities that yielded fossils of Rhinocerotidae identified at least to genus. Its aim is mostly geographic, and it is not intended as a revision of fossil rhinos. It is probably close to exhaustive for western and central Europe (the major source being Guérin, 1980, with addition of the coordinates), but certainly imperfect for some other areas, because the fossil record is much less complete, or because the location of fossils sites is not published with enough precision (this is especially true of Russian sites). Still, further bibliographic research would certainly increase the sampling.


For each site, we provide the list of published rhino taxa. In addition, a series of columns gives the number of species present in each genus and in each of the main groups (of course not everyone will agree on these subdivisions !):

  • Aceratheriini (Aceratherium + Acerorhinus + Alicornops + Chilotherium + Hoploaceratherium + Mesaceratherium + Persiatherium + Plesiaceratherium + Protaceratherium + Shansirhinus + Pleuroceros + Subchilotherium)
  • Rhinocerotini (Diceros + Ceratotherium + Dicerorhinus + Rhinoceros + Nesorhinus + Pliorhinus + Stephanorhinus + Coelodonta + Paradiceros + Rusingaceros + Lartetotherium + Dihoplus + Gaindatherium)
  • brachypotheres (Brachypotherium + Prosantorhinus + Diaceratherium)
  • Rhinocerotini + brachypotheres
  • Rhinocerotinae (Aceratheriini + Rhinocerotini + brachypotheres)
  • Elasmotheriinae (Begertherium + Beliajevina + Bugtirhinus + Caementodon + Elasmotherium + Hispanotherium + Huaqingtherium + Iranotherium + Kenyatherium + Ningxiatherium + Ougandatherium + Parelasmotherium + Shennongtherium + Sinotherium + Tesselodon + Turkanatherium + Chilotheridium + Victoriaceros)
  • stem taxa (all others)


  • we have not included those sites with Rhinocerotidae not identified at least to genus
  • we have not tried to update previous identifications, although this was done in some cases
  • for the sake of uniformity, we have homogenized the species names, and their attribution to genus. For instance, we use Stephanorhinus jeanvireti for all rhinos referred to S. elatus, and S. kirchbergensis, which is now generally used, for S. mercki (even though this might be incorrect). This choice is sometimes problematic (e.g., the type of Ceratotherium praecox belongs to Diceros, but most specimens assigned to this species are true Ceratotherium).
  • for mapping purposes, we deleted the 'cf.'s and 'aff.'s; we are well aware that this is a questionable choice


  • they are provided to the nearest 1/100 degree. It is usually impossible to be more precise, and this would be useless at the global scale.
  • most coordinates have been retrieved from original publications and from Google Earth, but some are from the NOW database. However, not all of the latter have been individually checked.


We tried to provide references for every site; whenever possible, we provide original ones. The NOW database (The NOW Community 2020. New and Old Worlds Database of Fossil Mammals [NOW]. Licensed under CC BY 4.0. Retrieved June 2020 from has been extremely useful for a number of sites.

A list of the main references is available in Excel format

We apologize for mistakes, incompleteness, and urge everyone to contribute by correcting mistakes or making additions ! Write to denis.geraads[AT]

Download the database in Excel or csv formats

Download mapping instructions (Google Earth and QGIS)

See late Miocene example 1, late Miocene example 2


GPlates ( allows you to visualize the geographic locations of the fossil sites in the past. Some example files are provided in the archive Read more on the usage in the mapping instructions.

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