Early to Middle Pleistocene Hystrix material in the collections of the IVPP in Beijing, has been biometrically studied and compared with other fossil and extant species. The specimens are from Zhoukoudian (Beijing), the Liucheng Gigantopithecus cave (Guangxi) and other caves in that province, the Wazhuwan and Yanhui Cave (Guizhou) and from Longgupo (Sichuan). None of the fossil specimens can be allocated to the extant Chinese Hystrix brachyura subcristata Swinhoe, 1870, subgenus Acanthion F. Cuvier, 1823. Most of the collections studied consist of a mixture of two species with overlapping size ranges. Cheek teeth of most Hystrix species do not show diagnostic characters other than size, so not every one of them can be assigned with certainty to the larger or the smaller species. Two hypsodont Hystrix (Hystrix) species are recognised. The smaller one, H. kiangsenensis Wang, 1931, is on average larger than H. brachyura subcristata. This smaller species has been recognized in the material from the Provinces Guangxi, Guizhou and Beijing. The second species, H. magna Pei, 1987, is on average larger than H. indica Kerr, 1792 and is found in essentially the same localities. The stratigraphie range of these species extends from Early Nihewanian (= early Early Pleistocene) to Early Zhoukoudianian (= early Middle Pleistocene). Syntype specimen IVPP nr. V5036.12 is indicated as the lectotype of H. magna Pei, 1987. The brachyodont lower premolar collected at Longgupo, Sichuan Province, is provisionally referred to Hystrix sp. instead of its allocation to H. magna Pei, 1987 given its similarities with Late Miocene to Pliocene Hystrix species of Europe and Asia. The relationship of H. magna Pei, 1987 with H. gigantea van Weers, 1985, H. refossa Gervais, 1852 and H. crassidens Lydekker, 1886 is discussed.

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Naturalis journals & series

van Weers, D.J, & Shaohua, Zheng. (1998). Biometric analysis and taxonomic allocation of Pleistocene Hystrix specimens (Rodentia, Porcupines) from China. Beaufortia, 48(4), 47–69.