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Mammals and stratigraphy of the continental mammal-bearing Quarternary of South America
Larry G. Marshall, Annalisa Berta, Robert Hoffstetter, Rosendo Pascual, Osvaldo A. Reig, Miguel Bombin and Alvaro Mones
Keywords: Geochronology; Mammalia; Quaternary; South America; Stratigraphy
 
  Abstract

    Previous chronological arrangements of South American Quaternary land mammal faunas are appraised on the basis of current geological and paleontological data. Three South American late Pliocene-Pleistocene land mammal ages are conventionally recognized, from oldest to youngest, the Uquian, Ensenadan, and Lujanian ; all are defined on Argentine faunas.

         The Uquian is based fundamentally and historically on the fauna from the Uquía Formation in Jujuy Province, northwestern Argentina. Important known formations in Argentina yielding Uquian Age faunas include the sub-surface Puelche Formation (or Puelchense) near the city of Buenos Aires, and the Barranca de Los Lobos and Vorohué Formations between Mar del Plata and Miramar, Buenos Aires Province. A tentative subdivision is propos-ed for the Uquian into three subages based on knowledge of the Mar del Plata-Miramar sequence, from oldest to youngest, the Barrancalobian, Vorohuean, and Sanandresian. In Argentina the Uquian is presently marked by the first known record of Scelidodon, Hydrochoeropsis, Ctenomys, Canidae, Ursidae, Gomphotheriidae, Equidae, Tapiridae, Camelidae, Cervidae, and the last known record of Thylatheridium, Thylophorops, Dankomys, Eumysops, Pithanotomys, Eucoelophorus, Hegetotheriidae, Sparassocynidae, and Microtragulidae.

    The Ensenadan Age is based on the fauna from the Ensenada Formation near the city of Ensenada, Buenos Aires Province. In Argentina the Ensenadan is marked by the first known record of Lomaphorus, Neothoracophorus, Plaxhaplous, Cavia, Lyncodon, Lutra, Galera, Smilodon, Dicotyles, Lama, Vicugna, the last known record of Orthomyctera, and the only known record of Brachynasua.

         Typícal beds of late Lujanian Age in Argentina consist of fluvial deposits occupying stream channels, and shallow basins, often incised into beds of early Lujanian (i.e. Bonaerian of early workers) and Ensenadan Age. The Lujanian Age is based on a fauna from beds along the Rio Luján, about 65 km west of the city of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Province. The Lujanian in Argentina is marked by the first record of Equus, Chlamyphorus, and Holochilus, and the last record of Megatherioidea, Glyptodontoidea, Arctodus (=Arctotherium), Smilodon, Litopterna, Notoungulata, Proboscidea, Equidae, Morenelaphus, and Palaeolama.

       These land mammal ages are often difficult to recognize in other South American countries. The compositions of South American Pleistocene faunas vary with the environment. Some taxa were widely distributed in fossil deposits throughout the continent, but their occurrences need not reflect synchroneity. This is a result of changing climates and habitats in time. Consequently, proposed intracontinental correlations need confirmation based on magnetostratigraphy and a radioisotope time scale. Paleontologic characterizations of these land mammal ages (i.e. first and last record, and guide fossils) are useful for much of Argentina, but extensions to most of the other parts of South America are at best tenuous.

    The majority of known non-Argentine Pleistocene faunas are believed to be Lujanian in age. Possible non Argentine early Pleistocene (Uquian) faunas include Ayo Ayo and Anzaldo in Bolivia, and Cocha Verde in southern Columbia. A possible middle Pleistocene (Ensenadan or early Lujanian) fauna is the Chichense of Ecuador. Paleomagnetic and radioisotopic date (MacFadden et al., 1983) clearly indicate that the greater part of the Tarija fauna (Bolivia) is Ensenadan in age.

      The end of the Pleistocene and beginning of the Holocene in South America is marked by extinction of nearly all large mammalian herbivores and their specialized large predators. Radiocarbon age determinations suggest that large scale extinctions of megafauna occurred between 15,000 and 8,000 yrs. B.P. (years before present). 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 14, Ext (1984)

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Mammals and stratigraphy : Geochronology of the continental mammal-bearing Tertiary of south America.
Larry G. Marshall, Robert Hoffstetter and Rosendo Pascual
Keywords: Cenozoic; Geochronology; Mammalia; South America; Stratigraphy; Tertiary
 
  Abstract

    The principles and practices employed in establishment and recognition of South American land mammal ages are reviewed along with previous and present concepts of distinguishing time, rock, and faunal units. Previous chronological arrangements of South American Tertiary land mammal faunas are appraised on the basis of recent geological and paleontological data. Twelve South American Tertiary land mammal ages are here recognized [from oldest to youngest, Riochican (middle to late Paleocene); Casamayoran (early Eocene); Mustersan (middle Eocene); Divisaderan (late Eocene); Deseadan (early [to middle?] Oligocene); Colhuehuapian (late Oligocene); Santacrucian (early Miocene); Friasan (middle Miocene); Chasicoan (late Miocene); Huayquerian (latest Miocene); Montehermosan (early to middle Pliocene); and Chapadmalalan (late Pliocene)]. As all except the Friasian were originally defined on the basis of Argentine faunas, these are discussed first and at length, and each is reviewed with discussion of type locality, stratigraphy, type fauna, and faunal correlations. Non-Argentine faunas are then discussed country by country in alphabetical order.

         A review is given of radioisotope dates obtained on volcanic rocks (i.e., basalts, tuffs) associated with mammalbearing beds in Argentina. Based on these age determinations and on correlation of the late Tertiary land mammals involved in the interchange between North and South America, a chronology of South American land mammal ages correlated with North American land mammal ages and European marine stages is proposed.

    It is concluded that South America was an island continent through most of the Tertiary Period (ca 65 to about 3 Ma). As a result, the land mammal fauna of South America developed in isolation and was dominated by autochthonous endemic groups. Toward the end of the Tertiary (i.e., middle Miocene) a unique faunal balance had been achieved by the descendants of the ancient inhabitants (notoungulates, litopterns, condylarths, astrapotheres, edentates, marsupials) and of later (late Eocene) waif immigrants (caviomorph rodents, platyrrhine primates). A prominent feature of this mammal fauna was the combination of carnivorous and omnivorous marsupials with native placental herbivorous ungulates, subungulates, and edentates.

    Sometime during the late Miocene, a limited but important interchange of mammalian taxa between North and South America took place. Procyonids (raccoons and their allies), a group of North American origin, first appear in South America in strata of Huayquerian Age, while members of the extinct South American ground sloth families Megalonychidae and Mylodontidae first appear in North America in early Hemphillian time. These groups dispersed along island arcs before the appearance of the Panamanian land bridge in the Pliocene (ca 3.0 Ma). Cricetine rodents, a group of North American origin, are first known in South America in strata of Montehermosan Age. The known taxa are too advanced and diversified to be considered the first of this group to invade South America. lt is believed by some workers that these rodents arrived before the Montehermosan, possibly in the late Miocene or earlier, by waif dispersal from North America.

    The isolation of South America ended with the appearance of the Panamanian land bridge, which provided a direct, dry land connection between the two Americas. Across this portal an extensive interchange of terrestrial faunas occurred, and the fossil record documents an intermingling of these long-separated land mammals faunas.

          The beginning of this interchange by land route in South America is marked by the appearance of mammals which evolved from North American emigrants in the Chapadmalal Formation of Argentina. These include a mustelid (Conepatus), a tayassuid (Argyrohyus), and four genera (Akodon, Dankomys, Graomys, Reithrodon) of cricetine rodents. The appearance of this contingent of northern animals favors the existence of the Panamanian land bridge by this time. Likewise, a large number of terrestrial vertebrates of South American origin appear in North America in beds of late Blancan Age date around 2.7 Ma. Among the mammals are Neochoerus, Erethizon, Glyptotherium, Glossotherium, Kraglievichia, and Dasypus


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 13, Ext (1983)

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Rongeurs caviomorphes de l'Oligocène de Bolivie. 1 Introduction au deseadien de Bolivie
Robert Hoffstetter
Keywords: Rodentia; South America
 
  Abstract

    The Tertiary of the Salla-Luribay basin consists of red beds affected by the second period of the andine compression, of Miocene ending age. The Tertiary layers are exposed at an approximate elevation of 3.500 to 4.000 meters. Two stratigraphic units can be distinguished in them: the Luribay conglomerates, in which vertical clifts result from erosion, and the Salla layers consisting mostly of consolidated clays. These clays are very fossiliferous and have furnished a rich vertebrate fauna which gave to R. Hoffstetter the possibility to establish the Oligocene age of these beds. Sediments of same age has been reported to be present in several other places of Bolivia, particularly near Lacayani, where have been collected highly hypsodont Rodents, different from those found in Salla-Luribay basin. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 07, Fasc. 3 (1976)

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Présence de Palaeobatrachidae (Anura) dans des gisements tertiaires Français caractérisation, distribution et affinités de la famille
Colette Vergnaud-Grazzini and Robert Hoffstetter
Keywords: Anura; Palaeogeography; systematics
 
  Abstract

    The Palaeobatrachidae until now have not been reported from France. The present note makes known the discovery of very significant remains in three Tertiary localities of France: Cernay (late Paleocene), Laugnac (late Aquitanian) and Sansan (middle Helvetian). The osteologic characters, as well as the geographic and stratigraphic distribution of the family are re-stated with added details. The Palaeobatrachidae are a European family known from the late Jurassic of Catalonia (publication in course by J. Seiffert) to the Plio-Pleistocene (pre-Mindel) of Poland and Rumania. By their way of life and certain osteologic characters they are similar to the Pipidae, but they are distinguished by profound differences. It would be rash to include them in the Pipoidea or even in the Aglossa. They are apparently an independant group, essentially holarctic, which held in Europe a role equivalent to that played by the Pipidae south of Tethys. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 05, Fasc. 4 (1972)

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