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Medway, Lord, 1965. Niah Cave animal bone, VIII: Rhinoceros in late quaternary Borneo. Sarawak Museum Journal 12 (25/26): 77-82, pl. 21

Location: Asia - South East Asia - Malaysia - Sarawak
Subject: Taxonomy - Evolution
Species: Sumatran Rhino

Original text on this topic:
The second previous collection of rhinoceros remains from Sarawak consists of a series of bones together with two upper molars, recovered from gold workings in an alluvial cave deposit in the upper Sarawak river, presumably at or near Ban. These were presented to the British Museum (Natural History) by Dr. P. Lutley Sclater. The two teeth ivere provisionally referred to Rh. sondaicus by Lydekker (1886, p.129), but were entered in the British Museum register for 1895 (reg. no. M1986) as sumatrensis (A. J. Sutcliffe, in litt.). Hooijer (1946) his pointed out that the associated post-cranial bones have consistently been referred to sumatrensis.
During the preparation of his paper on prehistoric and fossil rhinoceroses from the Sunda region. Dr. Hooijer was unable to examine these controversial molars (Hooijer, 1946, p.10). However. a photograph has now been made available through the kindness of Dr. A. J. Sutclifre, Department of Palaeontology and is published here (see Plate XXI).
The teeth are seen to be first upper molars, one from the right and one from the left jaw, exhibiting different degrees of wear and presumably from different animals. The dimensions, measured from the photograph, are small compared with the figures for recent D. sumatrensis given by Hooijer (1946) and would be exceptional for Rh. sondaicus. In addition, certain morphological features peculiar to sumatrensis are clearly visible in the photographs. Firstly, in the more worn tooth in particular a distinct bend in the enamel at the antero-lingual margin of the protoloph is seen, indicating the presence of the ?protocone fold' of Hooijer (1946. p.11). On the less worn tooth the protocone fold is also present, although less clearly shown in the photograph. on the other hand, the relatively unworn condition of the latter tooth permits a second diagnostic character to be seen viz., in the words of Hooijer (1946), that the crochet ?springs off from the metaloph below the upper margin', rather than originating at the apex of the metaloph as in sondalcus. Together, these characters confirm the identification of the molars as D. sumatrensis.

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