July 2001
Vol. 30, Fasc. 1-2
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Print ISSN: 0031-0247
Online ISSN: 2274-0333
Frequency: biannual

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PalaeovertebrataVol. 30, Fasc. 1-2:51-88. 2001
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Revision of the family Cephalomyidae (Rodentia, Caviomorpha) and new cephalomyids from the early Miocene of Patagonia.
Alejandro Kramarz
Keywords: Cephalomyidae; Lower Miocene; Patagonia; Rodentia; Soriamys; Systematics

Cite this article: Kramarz A., 2001. Revision of the family Cephalomyidae (Rodentia, Caviomorpha) and new cephalomyids from the early Miocene of Patagonia. Palaeovertebrata 30 (1-2): 51-88.


 A new genus of hystricognath rodent with two new species, Soriamys gaimanensis and Soriamys ganganensis, from the Colhuehuapian Age (Early Miocene), Sarmiento Formation, of Patagonia is described. The first species comes from the south barranca of the valley of Rio Chubut, near Gaiman locality (Chubut Province). It is known through a great number of dental remains in different stages of wear. The teeth are protohypsodont, with cement in the principal valleys. P4 are simpler, more oval inoutline and without a differentiated hypocone-hypoflexus. Upper molars are pentalophodont in early stages of wear and become bilobated in middle and advanced stages; M3 have a temporary third posterior lobe due to the maintenance of the braquiflexus on the posterior wall of the tooth. Lower teeth have a completely asymrnetrical pattern in relation to the uppers. The molars are trilophodont, with only one complex crest in the trigonid composed of the fusion of the anterolophid and mesolophid. The dp4 have a derived pentalophodont pattern due to the loss or fusion of the mesolophid and the development of an accessory transverse crest between the anterolophid and metalophid. The second species is known through a complete skull and jaw and other skull fragments with the dentition, proceeding from Pampa de Gan Gan, Chubut province. Respect to the first species, the teeth are higher crowned, with an earlier occlusal simplification and a third posterior lobe of M3 more developed and persistent. The skull and jaws show many chinchilloid characters, such as jugal bone with an ascending process, concave palate, very prominent dorsal shelf of the masseteric fossa, nasolachrymal duct opened laterally on the maxillary and very developed lateral mandibular fossa. Moreover, Soriamys is closely related to Cephalomys by sharing a similar asymmetric dental pattern and other dental and mandibular characters. These two genera constitute a natural group, the Cephalomyidae, with peculiar dental characters, like the asymmetric pattem of the upper and lower teeth; Cephalomyopsis, and probably Litadontomys, can be considered part of this group. Scotamys and Perimys constitute a distinct lineage (the Neopiblemidae or Perimyidae), more closely related to the chinchillids. Many characters shared by cephalomyids, eocardiids and caviids suggest a closer affinity between the Chinchilloidea and the Cavioiidea as a whole. Abrocoma shows also an asymmetric dental pattern and other chinchilloid features that suggest some degree of relationship with the cephalomyids, still not well determined. 

Published in Vol. 30, Fasc. 1-2 (2001)