New Data on Miocene Neotropical Provinciality from Cerdas, Bolivia

Abstract

We provide the first faunal report for the early/middle Miocene fauna of Cerdas, Bolivia (16.5–15.3 Ma; 20° 52′ S, 66° 19′ W), based primarily on new specimens collected in 2007. As many as twelve species of mammals in nine families are represented. Notoungulates include Palyeidodon obtusum (Toxodontidae), Protypotherium cf. attenuatum and Protypotherium sp. nov. (Interatheriidae), ‘Plesiotypotherium’ minus and possibly Microtypotherium choquecotense (Mesotheriidae), and Hegetotherium? sp. nov. (Hegetotheriidae). Xenarthrans include Stenotatus planus and Prozaedyus sp. (Cingulata: Dasypodidae), Peltephilidae gen. et sp. nov. (Cingulata), and Xyophorus cf. bondesioi (Pilosa: Nothrotheriidae). A new species of litoptern is also present (Macraucheniidae) as well as an unidentified rodent (Chinchillidae: Lagostominae). Two of these Cerdas species occur in Friasian sensu stricto/Colloncuran SALMA faunas of Patagonia, and perhaps one in Santacrucian SALMA faunas. Among middle latitude localities, Cerdas resembles Chucal, Chile (late early Miocene, Santacrucian SALMA) in community composition (e.g., abundant mesotheriids, few rodent species), but has no species in common; it shares one species with Quebrada Honda, Bolivia (middle Miocene, Laventan SALMA), and perhaps as many as three more. These observations indicate that Cerdas is not referable to the Santacrucian, and that the upper limit of this SALMA in the middle latitudes falls somewhere between 17.5 Ma (the top of Chucal) and 16.5 Ma (the base of Cerdas). Based on the range of dates proposed for the youngest Santacrucian intervals in Patagonia, a diachronous offset of up to 2.1 Ma may exist at this point in the SALMA sequence between middle and high latitude faunas.

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Acknowledgments

We thank F. Pujos for assistance with identification of sloth elements and critical advice on the taxonomy of Xyophorus; G. Billet, M. Bond, A. Carlini, M. Ciancio, T. Gaudin, A. Kramarz, G. López, B. Townsend, and A. Villafañe for helpful discussions of Miocene mammals; C. Argot, A. Kramarz, C. de Muizon, and M. Reguero for access to specimens in their care; R. Chavez, J. Conrad, P. Higgins, and J. Smith for assistance in the field; A. Carlini and A. Wyss for critical reviews of the content of this paper; and D. Chapman, J. Chick, M. Ryan, A. Shinya, and L. Yerian for assistance with fossil preparation and specimen curation. Funding for this research was provided by the National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration (NGS 8115-06 to D. Croft) and the National Science Foundation (EAR 0635678 to C. Garzione and T. Jordan). This is University of Florida Contribution to Paleobiology number 620.

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Correspondence to Darin Andrew Croft.

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Croft, D.A., Anaya, F., Auerbach, D. et al. New Data on Miocene Neotropical Provinciality from Cerdas, Bolivia. J Mammal Evol 16, 175–198 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10914-009-9115-0

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Keywords

  • Bolivia
  • Land Mammal Age
  • Litopterna
  • Miocene
  • Notoungulata
  • Provinciality
  • South America
  • Xenarthra