Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5959bf8d4d-dtbwl Total loading time: 0.903 Render date: 2022-12-09T01:29:21.269Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true
Early Miocene Paleobiology in Patagonia Early Miocene Paleobiology in Patagonia
High-Latitude Paleocommunities of the Santa Cruz Formation
Buy print or eBook[Opens in a new window]

Book contents

15 - Paleobiology of Santacrucian caviomorph rodents: a morphofunctional approach

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2013

Sergio F. Vizcaíno
Affiliation:
Museo de La Plata, Argentina
Richard F. Kay
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina
M. Susana Bargo
Affiliation:
Museo de La Plata, Argentina
Get access

Summary

Abstract

Caviomorphs constitute a monophyletic group, representative of the oldest rodent radiation in South America. Since the Oligocene they have contributed importantly to the fossil communities of South American mammals. Today, caviomorphs display a diverse array of locomotor and feeding behaviors, occupying a wide range of habitats in which they consume a variety of food items. In this contribution, we analyze species of Santacrucian caviomorphs from a morphofunctional perspective in the context of extant caviomorph behavioral diversity, in order to evaluate their paleobiology and its paleoenvironmental significance. Body masses based on Santacrucian specimens were estimated by applying published equations. Reconstructions were made of areas of origin and insertion of the main masticatory muscles following the muscular pattern observed in living caviomorphs. On this basis, functional analyses of the masticatory apparatus were performed. Major postcranial features in extant caviomorphs identified as functionally associated with different locomotor habits were used as a model to evaluate the functional significance of the postcranial features in Santacrucian species. Santacrucian caviomorphs examined show the range of body mass from small- to relatively large-sized living caviomorphs. The porcupine Steiromys duplicatus and the dasyproctid Neoreomys australis present features that indicate a diet of harder and more abrasive food items than those consumed by living Neotropical phylogenetically related species. Features of the masticatory apparatus of the eocardiid Eocardia fissa are compatible with a wide feeding behavior, including abrasive food. Steiromys duplicatus was a semi-arboreal form, which did not achieve the degree of specialization that is seen in the Neotropical extant Coendou. Eocardia fissa was a cursorial agile rodent, similar to living Pediolagus salinicola. Neoreomys australis was a cursorial species, more similar to living Agouti paca than to Dasyprocta species. Santacrucian caviomorphs could have lived in an environment like the Cerrado biome, showing differential utilization of food resources and locomotor behaviors.

Type
Chapter
Information
Early Miocene Paleobiology in Patagonia
High-Latitude Paleocommunities of the Santa Cruz Formation
, pp. 287 - 305
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2012

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
18
Cited by

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×