The Age of Mammals in South America
When the Spanish conquerors and priests discovered the first fossils mammals from South America, they considered them as related to ancient giant humans or antediluvian inhabitants. In 1788 the Dominican priest Manuel Torres found a strange skeleton on the bank of the Luján River in Argentina and sent it to Madrid, where an employee of the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Juan Bautista Bru reassembled and illustrated the bones. Based on Mr. Bru’s work, the great anatomist Georges Cuvier, in 1796, assigned for the first time a scientific name to a fossil mammal: Megatherium americanum. Since then, amateurs and researchers have been captivated by the paleobiological history of South America. Today it is easy to find great scientific literature and popular science books dealing with this topic (e.g., Madden et al. 2010; Fariña et al. 2013). The recently edited "Horned Armadillos and Rafting Monkeys: the Fascinating Fossil Mammals of South America"is a well-written volume on...
- Fariña RA, Vizcaíno SF, De Iuliis G (2013) Megafauna: Giant Beasts of Pleistocene South America. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 448 ppGoogle Scholar
- Madden RH, Carlini AA, Vucetich MG, Kay RF (2010) The Paleontology of Gran Barranca: Evolution and Environmental Change through the Middle Cenozoic of Patagonia. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 458 ppGoogle Scholar