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Journal of Mammalian Evolution

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 265–273 | Cite as

The Tropics as Reservoir of Otherwise Extinct Mammals: The Case of Rodents from a New Pliocene Faunal Assemblage from Northern Venezuela

  • M. Guiomar Vucetich
  • Alfredo A. Carlini
  • Orangel Aguilera
  • Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra
Original Article

Abstract

We report a new vertebrate assemblage from the Pliocene Vergel Member of the San Gregorio Formation in northwestern Venezuela, which includes Crocodylia and Testudines indet., toxodonts, at least four species of xenarthrans of the Dasypodidae, Pampatheriidae, Glyptodontidae and Megatheriidae, and rodents. The last are Cardiatherium, cf. Caviodon (Hydrochoeridae), Neoepiblema (Neoepiblemidae), and what is here described as a new genus of a low-crowned octodontoid. cf. Caviodon is the first cardiomyine for northern South America. The rodent assemblage resembles in its ecological composition those of the late Miocene (Huayquerian) from the “Mesopotamian” of Argentina and the Acre region in Brazil, with partially overlapping systematic composition. The stratigraphic position of the San Gregorio Formation and mammals other than caviomorphs suggest a late Pliocene age for these sediments, implying the endurance of rodent taxa beyond their biochron in southern South America.

Keywords

Rodentia Phylogeny Caviomorpha Biogeography Systematics 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Rodolfo Sánchez (Urumaco) and Alejandro Kramarz (Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “B. Rivadavia”, Buenos Aires) for access to collections under his care and Alfredo Zurita and Dione Aguilera for various help in the field and the lab. This work was supported by the University of Zürich (MRSV) and by the ‘Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica PICT 38112’ (MGV).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Guiomar Vucetich
    • 1
  • Alfredo A. Carlini
    • 1
  • Orangel Aguilera
    • 2
  • Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento Científico Paleontología de Vertebrados, Museo de La PlataLa PlataArgentina
  2. 2.Universidad Nacional Experimental Francisco de MirandaCoroVenezuela
  3. 3.Palaeontological Institute and MuseumUniversity of ZürichZürichSwitzerland

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