Prothero, D.P. 2005. The evolution of North American rhinoceroses. - Cambridge, Cambridge University Press


  • J. de Vos


In the early 1970’s I worked on my PhD. thesis, called ‘The endemic Pleistocene deer of Crete’. For this I collected hundreds of bones from Caves of Crete. From each bone I took at least five measurements. I had to measure the bones with a dial calipers by hand, and wrote down each measurement in an exercise book, which became quite a collection. Thousands of measurements, which I had to work with mathematically with a simple calculator, that could only add up, multiply, divide and subtract. To calculate the average of 60 measurements took a long time. To calculate the X-test or a standard deviation took even more time. My worst nightmare was to loose all these data. This is exactly what happened to Donald R. Prothero when he was doing his study on the North American rhinos, also in the early seventies of the previous century. He lost a lot of his data because People Express Airlines lost his luggage. Donald had to go back to the several museums to re-measure the hundreds of specimens! Only scientists from before personal computers (let alone laptops) can realise how much work is in the book ‘The evolution of North American rhinoceroses’ of Prothero. It is impressive! The main body of the book (chapters 4 and 5) is a revision of the North American rhinoceroses based on morphological and biometrical descriptions of dental and postcranial elements. The methods (chapter 2) are straightforward: maximal length is maximal length, no discussion about that. I like that way, because in other works often the landmarks for the measurements are too complicated and you have to ask yourself what the author means with his definition of these landmarks. The drawings with the landmarks are clear. Read more...


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The evolution of North American rhinoceroses




How to Cite

de Vos, J. . (2021). Prothero, D.P. 2005. The evolution of North American rhinoceroses. - Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt / Egyptology, 3(1), 01-02. Retrieved from