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Temporal range: Early Miocene–Early Pliocene
Natural History Museum of LA Teleoceras.jpg
Specimen at the Natural History Museum of LA
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Rhinocerotidae
Genus: Teleoceras
Hatcher, 1894
Type species
Teleoceras major
  • T. aginense
  • T. americanum
  • T. brachyrhinum
  • T. hicksi
  • T. fossiger
  • T. guymonense
  • T. major
  • T. medicornutum
  • T. meridianum
  • T. proterum
  • Mesoceras (Cook, 1930)[3]
  • Paraphelops Lane, 1927[4]

Teleoceras is an extinct genus of grazing rhinoceros. It lived in North America and southwestern France during the Miocene epoch, which ended about 5.3 million years ago, through the early Pliocene epoch.[5]


Restoration of T. fossiger
T. proterum and Barbourofelis loveorum

Teleoceras had much shorter legs than modern rhinos, and a barrel chest, making its build more like that of a hippopotamus than a modern rhino. Like the hippo, it was probably also semi-aquatic. Teleoceras had a single small nasal horn.[6] It was a quite heavy animal, reaching 1.81 tons in weight.[7]


Teleoceras is the most common fossil in the Ashfall Fossil Beds of Nebraska. In fact, its remains were so numerous and concentrated that the building housing the greatest concentration of Ashfall fossils is called the "Rhino Barn". Most of the skeletons are preserved in a nearly complete state. One extraordinary specimen includes the remains of a Teleoceras calf trying to suckle from its mother. This animal was featured in the episodes "Are Rhinos Dinos?" and "Dawn Of The Cats" of the Paleoworld series.


  1. ^ Prothero, 2005, pp. 189-194.
  2. ^ Prothero, 2005, p. 94.
  3. ^ McKenna & Bell, 1997, p. 483.
  4. ^ Prothero, 2005, p. 122.
  5. ^ (Prothero, 2005)
  6. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 265. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 
  7. ^


  • McKenna, Malcolm C., and Bell, Susan K. 1997. Classification of Mammals Above the Species Level. Columbia University Press, New York, 631 pp. ISBN 0-231-11013-8
  • Prothero, Donald R. 2005. The Evolution of North American Rhinoceroses. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 218 pp. ISBN 0-521-83240-3

External links[edit]