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Temporal range: 3.7–0.01 Ma
Pliocene - Pleistocene
Wooly Rhino15.jpg
The woolly rhinoceros, Coelodonta antiquitatis.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Rhinocerotidae
Tribe: Dicerorhinini
Genus: Coelodonta
Bronn, 1831
Type species
Coelodonta antiquitatis
(Blumenbach, 1799)

Coelodonta (from the Greek "hollow tooth", in reference to the deep grooves of their molars) is an extinct genus of rhinoceros that lived in Eurasia between 3.7 million years to 10,000 years before the present, in the Pliocene and the Pleistocene epochs.


Coelodonta antiquitatis MHNT
Skulls of Coelodonta species: from up to down, C. nihowanensis, C. tologoijensis and C. antiquitatis.

Other species are recognised for Coelodonta, following to Deng et al. (2011), including:

  • Coelodonta thibetana (Deng et al. 2011): The most primitive species of the genus, inhabited the Tibetan Plateau during the Pliocene.[1]
  • Coelodonta nihowanensis (Chow, 1978): A primitive species from northern China, it lived in the earliest Pleistocene.[1]
  • Coelodonta tologoijensis (Beliajeva, 1966): Appeared in northern China around 2 million years ago, spreading to Europe in the Middle Pleistocene, 470,000 years ago. It was probably the direct ancestor of the woolly rhinoceros.[2]
  • Coelodonta antiquitatis (Blumenbach, 1799): The type species of the genus, commonly known as the woolly rhinoceros. It lived in the steppes of northern Eurasia during the Late Pleistocene, and was the last living representative of the genus.


The authors of the description of the species C. thibetana (Deng et al., 2011) proposed a cladogram to place phylogenetically their position in relation to other members of Rhinocerotidae, using the five extant species of rhinoceros and 13 extinct species. They found that Coelodonta was the sister taxon of the species Stephanorhinus hemitoechus.[1]



Ceratotherium simum

Diceros bicornis

Dicerorhinus sumatrensis


Rhinoceros sondaicus

Rhinoceros unicornis

Dihoplus megarhinus

'Dihoplus' kirchbergensis

Dihoplus pikermiensis

Dihoplus ringstroemi

Stephanorhinus etruscus

Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis

Stephanorhinus hemitoechus


Coelodonta thibetana

Coelodonta nihowanensis

Coelodonta tologoijensis

Coelodonta antiquitatis


  1. ^ a b c Deng, T.; Wang, X.; Fortelius, M.; Li, Q.; Wang, Y.; Tseng, Z.J.; Takeuchi, G.T.; Saylor, J.E.; Säilä, L.K.; Xie, G. (2011). "Out of Tibet: Pliocene Woolly Rhino Suggests High-Plateau Origin of Ice Age Megaherbivores". Science. 333 (6047): 1285–1288. doi:10.1126/science.1206594. PMID 21885780.
  2. ^ David Garcia Fernández & Juan Vicente i Castells. Nuevas aportaciones al conocimiento de Coelodonta antiquitatis (Blumenbach, 1799) de Brown Bank, Mar del Norte. Butll. Centre d'Est. Natura B-N. VII 13): 309-329 Sta. Coloma de Gramenet, 2008.PDF

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