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Keywords:

  • cluster analysis;
  • Gargano;
  • island colonization;
  • island endemic ungulates;
  • Late Oligocene;
  • Miocene;
  • ruminants;
  • Scontrone

Six species of Hoplitomeryx from Abruzzo and Apulia are defined, of which five are described as new to science, Hoplitomeryx apruthiensis, Hoplitomeryx apulicus, Hoplitomeryx falcidens, Hoplitomeryx magnus, and Hoplitomeryx minutus, and one is re-described, Hoplitomeryx matthei Leinders, 1983. A new diagnosis of the genus is also provided. The new species are established only on teeth, maxillary fragments, and jaws. The standing classification of these ungulates is questioned. As Hoplitomeryx shares a mixture of characters with many other ruminants, it is here believed to have derived from a primitive ruminant stock prior to the emergence of advanced ruminant lineages.

© 2011 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2011, 163, 1304–1333.