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C R Acad Sci III. 2001 Jan;324(1):81-6.

The enigmatic new Indochinese bovid, Pseudonovibos spiralis: an extraordinary forgery.

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Collège de France et laboratoire de paléontologie, UMR 8569 CNRS, Muséum national d'histoire naturelle, 8, rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France.


In 1993, the discovery of several pairs of lyre-shaped horns with corrugations was recorded in Vietnam and regarded as evidence for a new, large bovid, later referred to as Pseudonovibos spiralis Peter & Feiler, 1994. Despite numerous field investigations made since 1994 in Vietnam and Cambodia, no new anatomical evidence has ever been found, except for two frontlets with their horn cores and horn sheaths. A new investigation has been carried out on six frontlets and based on a histological analysis of the keratin. It shows that the horns of P. spiralis are merely a skillful forgery made by carving and distorting ordinary cow horns. The horns of Pseudonovibos spiralis were, in some cases, positioned back onto the corresponding horn cores of domestic cow frontlets. The name Pseudonovibos spiralis is thus a junior synonym of Bos taurus, yet it remains valid and available.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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