Advertisement

The Native Ungulates of South America (Condylarthra and Meridiungulata)

  • Thomas Defler
Chapter
Part of the Topics in Geobiology book series (TGBI, volume 42)

Abstract

The ancient, native ungulates were another fascinating group, which sadly has become totally extinct, but that we now understand were related to the northern Perissodactyla or odd-toed ungulates. These animals apparently evolved from northern condylarths (primitive ungulates) that somehow made it to South America. Evolution produced five orders of quite bizarre ungulates, some more like rodents than like ungulates, but others, toward the end of the Neogene in the Pleistocene, had become large, rhinoceros-like Toxodon and camel-like Machrochenia. Although there is much to learn about the many species of South American meridiungulates (native ungulates), many forms are known. Some of the latest forms are known to have been hunted by Early humans, who finally arrived in South America.

References

  1. Ameghino F (1895) Premiére contribution à connaissance de la fauna mammalogique de couches à Pyrotherium. Boletín Instituto Geográfico Argentino 15:603–660Google Scholar
  2. Arroyo-Cabrales J, Polaco OJ, Johnson E, Ferrusquía-Villafranca I (2010) A perspective on mammal biodiversity and zoogeography in the Late Pleistocene of México. Quat Int 212:187–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Avilla LS (2005) A revision of Colombitherium tolimense Hoffstetter (Pyrotheria: Mammalia) and its significance on Pyrotheria relationships. Ameghiniana 42(4R):60RGoogle Scholar
  4. Avilla LS, Paglarelli Bergqvist (2005) Sobre o hábito locomotor de Carodnia vieirai Paula-Couto, 1952 (Mammalia: Xenungulata). Anuário do Instituto de Geociệcias – UFRJ 28(1):185–186Google Scholar
  5. Babot (2017) Mamíferos paleógenos del subtrópico de Argentina: síntesis de estudios estratigráfico cronológicos y taxonómicos. In: Muruaga CM, Grosse P (eds) Ciencias de la tierra y recursos naturales del NOA. Relatorio del XX Congreso Geológico Argentino, San Miguel de Tucumán, pp 730–753. isbn:978-987-42-6666-8Google Scholar
  6. Bertelli S, Chiappe LM, Tambussi C (2007) A new phorusrhacid (Aves: Variamae) from the Middle Miocene of Patagonia, Argentina. J Vertebr Paleontol 27(2):409–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Billet G (2010) New observations on the skull of Pyrotherium (Pyrotherium, Mammalia) and the new phylogenetic hypotheses on South American ungulates. J Mammal Evol 17:21–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Billet G (2011) Phylogeny of the Notoungulata (Mammalia) based on cranial and dental characteristics. J System Palaenotol 9(4):481–497CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Billet G, Orliac M, Antoine P-O, Jaramillo C (2010) New observations and reinterpretation on the enigmatic taxón Colombitherium (?Pyrotheria, Mammalia) from Colombia. Palaeontology 53(2):319–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bonaparte JF, Morales J (1997) Un primitive Notonychopidae (Litopterna) del Paleoceno Inferior de Punta Peligro, Chubut, Argentina. Estudios Geol 53:263–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Borrero LA (2009) The elusive evidence: the archeological record of the South American extinct megafauna. In: Haynes G (ed) American megafaunal extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene. Springer, New York, pp 145–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cassini GH, Cerdeño E, Villafañe AL, Muñoz NA (2012) Paleobiology of Santacrucian native ungulates (Meridiungulata: Astrapotheria, Litopterna and Notoungulata). In: Vizcaíno SF, Kay RF, Bargo MS (eds) Early Miocene paleobiology in Patagonia: high-latitude paleocommunities of the Santa Cruz formation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 243–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cifelli RL (1983) The origin and affinities of the South American Condylarthra and early Tertiary Litopterna (Mammalia). Am Mus Nat Hist Novit 2772:1–49Google Scholar
  14. Cifelli RL (1991) A new adianthid litoptern (Mammalia) from the Miocene of Chile. Rev Chil Hist Nat 64:119–125Google Scholar
  15. Cifelli RL (1993) The phylogeny of the native South American ungulates. In: Szalay FS, Novacek MJ, McKenna MC (eds) Mammal phylogeny: placentals. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  16. Cifelli RL, Soria MF (1983) Systematics of the Adianthidae (Litopterna, Mammalia). Am Mus Novit 2771:1–25Google Scholar
  17. Cione AL, Tonni EP, Soibelzon L (2009) Did humans cause the late Pleistocene-Holocene mammalian extinctions in South America in a context of shrinking open areas? In: Haynes G (ed) American megafaunal extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene. Springer, New York, pp 125–144Google Scholar
  18. Croft DA (2000) Archaeohyracidae (Mammalia, Notoungulata) from the Tinguiririca Fauna, Central Chile, and the evolution and paleoecology of South American mammalian herbivores. PhD dissertatopm, University of Chicago, 311 ppGoogle Scholar
  19. Croft DA (2007) The middle Miocene (Laventan) Quebrada Honda fauna, southern Bolivia and a description of its notoungulates. Palaeontology 50(1):277–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Croft DA, Anaya F (2006) A new middle Miocene hegetotheriid (Notoungulata: Typotheria) and a phylogeny of the Hegetotheriidae. J Vertebr Paleontol 26(2):387–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Croft DA, Bond M, Flynn JJ, Reguero M, Wyss AR (2003) Large archaeohyracids (Typotheria, Notoungulata) from Central Chile and Patagonia, including a revisión of Archaeotypotherium. Fieldiana Geol New Ser 49(1527):1–38Google Scholar
  22. Elisamburu A (2010) Estudio biomecánico y morfofuncional del esqueleto apendicular de Homalodotherium Flower 1873 (Mammalia, Notoungulata). Ameghiniana 47(1):25–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Elisamburu A (2012) Estimación de la masa corporal en géneros del Orden Notoungulata. Estud Geol 68(1):91–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gaudry A (1909) Fossiles de Patagonie: le Pyrotherium. Annales de Paléontologie 4:1–28Google Scholar
  25. Gelfo JN (2010) The “condylarth” Didolodontidae from Gran Barranca: history of the bunodont South American mammals up to the Eocene-Oligocene transition. In: Madden RH, Carlini AA, Vucetich MG, Kay RF (eds) The paleontology ot Gran Barranca. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 130–142Google Scholar
  26. Gelfo JN, López GM, Bond M (2008) A new Xenungulata (Mammalia) from the Pleocene of Patagonia, Argentina. J Paleontol 82(2):329–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hitz R (1995) Tyopothere (Notoungulata) phylogeny and proposed taxonomic revisions. J Vertebr Paleontol 15(Suppl 3):34AGoogle Scholar
  28. Hoffstetter R (1970) Colombitherium tolimense pyrothérien nouveau de la Formation Gualanday (Colombia). Ann Paleontol 56:149–171Google Scholar
  29. Horovitz I (2004) Eutherian mammal systematics and the origins of the South American ungulates as based on postcraneal osteology. Bull Carnegie Mus Nat Hist 36:63–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Johnson SC, Madden RH (1997) Uruguaytheriine Astrapotheres of tropical South America. In: Kay RF, Madden RH, Cifelli RL, Flynn JJ (eds) Vertebrate paleontology in the neotropics. The Miocene fauna of La Venta, Colombia. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, pp 355–381Google Scholar
  31. Kramarz AG, Bond M (2008) Revisión of Parastrapotherium (Mammalia, Astrapotheria) and other Deseadan astrapotheres of Patagonia. Ameghiniana 45(3):537–551Google Scholar
  32. Kramarz AG, Bond M (2010) Colhuehuapian Astrapotheriidae (Mammalia) from Gran Barranca south of Lake Colhue-Huapi. In: Madden RH, Carlini AA, Vucetich MG, Kay RF (eds) The paleontology ot Gran Barranca. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 170–181Google Scholar
  33. López GM, Ribeiro AM, Bond M (2010) The Notohippidae (Mammalia, Notoungulata) from Gran Barranca: preliminary considerations. In: Madden RH, Carlini AA, Vucetich MG, Kay RF (eds) The paleontology ot Gran Barranca. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 143–151Google Scholar
  34. Lundelius EL Jr, Bryant VM, Mandel R, Thies KJ, Thoms A (2013) The first occurrence of a taxodont (Mammalia, Notoungulata) in the United States. J Vertebr Paleontol 33(1):229–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Macrini TE, Flynn JJ, Ni X, Croft DA, Wyss AR (2013) Comparative ungulate (Placentalia, Mammalia) bony labryinths and new phylogenetically informative inner ear characteristics. J Anat 223:442–461Google Scholar
  36. McKenna MC, Bell SK (1997) Classification of mammals above the species level. Columbia University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  37. Muizon C, Cifelli RL (2000) The “condylarths” (archaic Ungulata, Mammalia) from the early Palaeocene of Tiupampa (Bolivia): implications on the origin of the South American ungulates. Geodiversitas 22(1):47–150Google Scholar
  38. Naish D (2012) Obscure fossil mammals of island South America: Thomashuxleya and the other isotemnids. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/2012/07/21/isotemnid-toxodonts-2012/
  39. Patterson B (1977) A primitive pyrothere (Mammalia, Notoungulata) from the Early Tertiary of Northwestern Venezuela. Fieldiana Geol New Ser 33:397–421Google Scholar
  40. Payne KB, Langbauer WR, Thomas EM (1986) Infrasonic calls of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). Behav Ecol Sociobiol 18(4):297–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Paula Couto CD (1952) Fossil mammals from the beginning of the Cenozoic in Brazil. Condylarthra, Litopterna, Xenungulata and Astrapotheria. Bull Am Mus Nat Hist 99(6):359–394Google Scholar
  42. Reguero MA (1998) El problema de las relaciones sistemáticas y filogenéticas de los Typotheria y Hegetotheria (Mammalia, Notoungulata): Análisis de los taxonones de Patagonia de la Edad-mamífero Deseadense (Oligoceno). PhD dissertation, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos AiresGoogle Scholar
  43. Reguero MA, Prevosti FJ (2010) Rodent-like notoungulates (Typotheria) from Gran Barranca, Chubut Province, Argentina: phylogeny and systematics. In: Madden RH, Carlini AA, Vucetich MG, Kay RF (eds) The paleontology ot Gran Barranca. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 152–169Google Scholar
  44. Riggs ES (1935) A skeleton of Astrapotherium. Geol Ser Field Mus Nat Hist 6:167–177Google Scholar
  45. Rose KD (1996) On the origin of the order Artiodactyla. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 93:1705–1709CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rose KD (2006) The beginning of the age of mammals. The Johns Hopkins University Press, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
  47. Salas R, Sánchez J, Chacaltana C (2006) A pre-deseadian pyrothere (Mammalia) from the northern Peru and the wear facets of molariforms teeth in Pyrotheria. J Vertebr Paleontol 26:760–769CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Saldanha Scherer C, Gregis Pitana V, Ribeiro AM (2009) Proterotheriidae and Macraucheniidae (Litopterna, Mammalia) from the Pleistocene of Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Rev Bras Paleontol 12(3):231–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Shockey BJ, Anaya F (2004) Pyrotherium macfaddeni sp. nov. (late Oligocene, Bolivia) and the pedal morphology of pyrotheres. J Vertebr Paleontol 24(2):481–488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Scott WB (1913) A history of land mammals in the western hemisphere. The Macmillan Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  51. Scott WB (1937) The Astrapotheria. Proc Am Philos Soc 77:309–393Google Scholar
  52. Simpson GG (1932) Skulls and brains of some mammals from the 1034 Notostylops beds of Patagonia. Am Mus Novit 578:1–11Google Scholar
  53. Simpson GG (1948) The beginning of the age of mammals in South America. Part 1. Introduction. Systematics: Marsupialia, Edentata, Condylarthra, Litopterna and Notioprogonia. Bull Am Mus Nat Hist 91:1–232Google Scholar
  54. Simpson GG (1980) Splendid isolation: the curious history of South American mammals. Yale University Press, New Haven/LondonGoogle Scholar
  55. Soria MF (1981) Un primitivo Astrapotheria (Mammalia) y la edad de la formación Rio Loro, Provincia de Tucumán, República Argentina. Ameghiniana 18(3–4):155–168Google Scholar
  56. Soria MF (1984) Notopterna: un nuevo orden de mamíferos ungulados del Terciario Inferior de Sudamérica. Ameghiniana 25(3):245–258Google Scholar
  57. Soria MF (1987) Estudios sobre los Astrapotheria (Mammalia) del Paleoceno y Eoceno. Ameghiniana 24(1–2):21–34Google Scholar
  58. Soria MF (1988) Estudios sobre los Astrapotheria (Mammalia) del Paleoceno y Eoceno. Parte II: Filogenia, origen y relaciones. Ameghiniana 25(1):47–59Google Scholar
  59. Soria MF (1989) Notopterna: Un nuevo orden de mamíferos ungulados neogenos de América de Sur. parte II. Notonychops powelli gen. et sp. nov. (Notonychopidae nov.) de la formación Río Loro (Paleoceno Medio), provincia de Tucumán, Argentina. Ameghiniana 25(3):259–272Google Scholar
  60. Soria MF (2001) Los Proterotheriidae (Litopterna, Mammalia): sistemática, origen y filogenia. Buenos Aires: Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia” e Instituto Nacional de Investigación de la Ciencias NaturalesGoogle Scholar
  61. Soria MF, Bond M (1984) Adiciones al conocimiento de Trigonostylops. Ameghiniana 21(1):43–51Google Scholar
  62. Townsend KEB, Croft DA (2008) Diets of notoungulates from the Santa Cruz Formation, Argentina: new evidence from enamel microwear. J Vertebr Paleontol 28(1):217–230. https://doi.org/10.1671/0272-4634(2008)28[217:DONFTS]2.0.CO;2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Vallejo-Pareja MC, Carrillo JD, Moreno-Bernal JW, Pardo-Jaramillo M, Rodriguez-Gonzalez DF, Muñoz-Duran J (2014) Hilarcotherium castanedaii, gen. Et sp. Nov., a new Miocene Astrapothere (Mammalia, Astrapotheriidae) from the upper Magdalena Valley, Colombia. J Vertebr Paleontol. https://doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2014.903960CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Van Frank R (1957) A fossil collection from northern Venezuela 1. Toxodontidae (Mammalia Notoungulata). Am Mus Novit 1850:1–38Google Scholar
  65. Villarroel C (1987) Características y afinidades de Etayoa n. gen., tipo de una nueva familia de Xenungulata (Mammalia) del Paleoceno medio (?) de Colombia. Comunicaciones Paleontológicas del Museo de Historia Natural del Montevideo 1(19):241–253Google Scholar
  66. Villarroel C, Danis J (1997) A New leontiniid notoungulate. In: Kay RF, Madden RH, Cifelli RL, Flynn JJ (eds) Vertebrate paleontology in the Neotropics. The Miocene fauna of La Venta, Colombia. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, pp 303–318Google Scholar
  67. Vizcaíno SF, Cassini GH, Toledo N, Bargo MS (2012) On the evolution of large size in mammalian herbivores of Cenozoic faunas of southern South America. In: Patterson BC, Costa LP (eds) Bones, clones and biomes. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 76–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Welker F, Collins MJ, Thomas JA et al (2015) Ancient proteins resolve the evolutionary history of Darwin’s South American ungulates. Nature. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature14249CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Defler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyNational University of Colombia, BogotaBogotaColombia

Personalised recommendations