Lophiodon is a middle to large sized herbivore
that occurred in Europe during the middle
and upper Eocene. One of the latest species, the
Bartonian Lophiodon lautricense from Robiac
(Gard, France), reached the body size of a horse
or a small rhino.
Lophiodontidae are basal Perissodactyla,
and were regarded as closely related to Tapiroidea
within Ceratomorpha due to the similarities
in the lophodont dentition (Cuvier 1822,
Radinsky 1963, McKenna & Bell 1997).
hooker (1984, 2005) and hooker and Dashzeveg (2004)
discussed a closer relationship with chalicotheriids
within Ancylopoda. This relationship
was accepted by Froehlich (1999), Rose and
Archibald (2005), and Rose (2006).
Holbrook (2009) investigated cranial, postcranial,
and dental characters and concluded that
Lophiodontidae are best classified as a sister taxon
in Ceratomorpha (Tapiroidea plus Rhinocerotoidea),
and thus that Lophiodon is closer
to Tapiroidea than to Chalicotheriidae.
Several species were described for the genus Lophiodon
that differ mainly in size, but the variability
within the species is very great. The molarization of the
premolars is used for taxonomic purposes.
In the maxilla there are six postcanines (three
premolars and three molars) separated from
the anterior dentition by a short diastema.
Credit Wighart von Koenigswald •
Ann. ZOOL. Fennici Vol. 51,
for this description.
Lophiodon lautricense NOULET, 1892
Late Middle Eocene (Bartonian)
Robiac, Gard Dept., France
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