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The shape (derived from landmark-based geometric morphometrics), condition (Fulton index) and diet (determined through gut content analysis) were described for the pike icefish Champsocephalus esox (Channichthyidae) from Última Esperanza sound, south-west Patagonia, Chile. Based on the length-weight relationship, females were heavier at length than males. Nevertheless, the Fulton index was similar between males and females. The morphospace of C. esox showed high intraspecific variability in the dorsoventral position of the tip of the snout, anus and the ventral insertion of the pectoral fin, as well as the anteroposterior position of the premaxilla, opercle and anus. This indicates the existence of phenotypic plasticity, leading to specimens with larger jaws and heads but shorter trunks, or specimens with shorter jaws and heads but larger trunks. This phenotypic plasticity was independent of size and sex. The feeding incidence was similar between sexes (34.1% and 47.2% for males and females, respectively). Diets consisted of only fish, small notothenioids of the genus Patagonotothen (P. tessellata, P. cornucola and P. sima), showing similarities between males and females. Finally, C. esox is the second notothenioid species, and the first outside of Antarctica, to display phenotypic plasticity in its body shape.
Ruddy-headed Goose Chloephaga rubidiceps is the smallest of the five South American sheldgeese and has two separate populations: one sedentary, which resides in the Malvinas/Falkland Islands and one migratory that overwinters mainly in the Pampas region, Argentina and breeds in Southern Patagonia. The Ruddy-headed Goose’s continental population has decreased considerably, and recent estimates indicated that the population size is less than 800 individuals. In Argentina and Chile, this population is categorised as endangered. Understanding migration across vast landscapes is essential for the identification of factors affecting the survival of this endangered population and for the application of effective conservation measures. We aim to provide the first documentation of the complete migration cycle of Ruddy-headed Goose, and to analyse their annual migration in detail, including identification of stop-over, breeding and wintering sites, and to compare migration timing during spring and autumn migration. Adults were captured in the southern Pampas and equipped with solar satellite transmitters in 2015 and 2016. We analysed the influence of season (spring vs autumn migration) on the number and duration of stop-overs, distance travelled and overall migration speed using Generalized Linear Mixed Models. Our results showed that tracked geese used the eastern Patagonian route to reach their breeding grounds and take the same route after breeding. Spring migration was significantly faster than autumn migration, at least based on the number of days spent in their stop-overs. Stop-overs were closer to the final destination, either during spring and autumn migrations, though some of them were not used during subsequent migrations. Our migration cartography for Ruddy-headed Geese, together with the timing and location data, should be used to improve conservation efforts directed at this species and might contribute to the modification of the current status of ‘Least Concern’ under the IUCN criteria.
Lago Argentino hosts various calving glaciers, among them the famous Perito Moreno. Whereas the onland late Pleistocene–Holocene glacial history is rather well constrained, the submerged glacier-related features were until now undisclosed. Here we present a series of high-resolution seismic profiles revealing moraine bodies associated with the late-glacial glacier dynamics and the first bathymetric map of the Brazo Rico and Brazo Sur, the two southern arms of Lago Argentino. At the eastern termination of Brazo Rico, we identified at the lake floor the submerged expression of the Puerto Bandera 3 moraine mapped onshore, which represents the oldest event (12,660 ± 70 cal yr BP oldest minimum age) recognized in this lake arm, and seven other younger events expressed by a series of terminal and recessional moraines. Along the Brazo Sur, few moraine bodies have been imaged by seismic data. Here, the youngest temporal constraint comes from the Frías moraine (ca. 6000 cal yr BP), which closes off the southern end of the Brazo Sur. At the confluence of the two arms, the Perito Moreno and the former Frías glacier merged and flowed toward east during their late-glacial maximum advance (i.e., Puerto Bandera 1 moraine). The subaqueous evidence of moraine bodies testifies to the occurrence of previously undocumented pulses of the Perito Moreno and former Frías glaciers within the general phase of late Pleistocene–Holocene regression.
This article reviews the most relevant data regarding evidence of stress and disease in native populations from Southern Patagonia and proposes future directions for paleopathological research. It focuses on the disease patterns in hunter-gatherer societies and the changes produced by contact and colonization. Studies of oral pathologies show a high frequency of dental attrition and low frequency of caries and antemortem tooth loss. Individuals with terrestrial dietary patterns show evidence of higher mechanical stress in the spine than those who participated in marine economies, based on the prevalence of Schmorl's nodes and vertebral osteophytosis. Porotic hyperostosis is more prevalent in individuals who had a marine diet and is probably related to nutritional impairment and parasitic infections. A higher frequency of metabolic stress was identified in individuals who lived in missions, perhaps because of declining quality in diet, hygiene, and living conditions. Paleoparasitological studies identified several species of parasites associated with human skeletons and terrestrial fauna. Moreover, recent studies suggested that treponematosis and tuberculosis were present in Patagonia since at least 1000 years BP. Future paleopathological research should increase the size and quality of studied samples and apply new methods and interpretive criteria. Detailed research into infections, degenerative joint diseases, and trauma (including violence episodes) has rarely been conducted.
Some lateral moraines contain a rich record of Holocene glacial expansion. Previous workers have used such evidence to document glacial fluctuations in western Canada, Alaska, and the U.S. Pacific Northwest, but similar studies in Patagonia are uncommon. Here we report on the late Holocene behavior of Stoppani Glacier, a 75 km2 glacier sourced in the Cordillera Darwin, southernmost Patagonia. Based on radiocarbon-dated wood and organic material contained in the glacier's northeast lateral moraine, we infer that Stoppani Glacier advanced shortly before 3.8–3.6, at 3.2–2.8, 2.3–2.1, and 0.3–0.2, and possibly sometime before 1.4–1.3 and 0.8–0.7 cal ka BP. These advances culminated at 0.3–0.2 cal ka BP, when the glacier constructed a prominent end moraine, marking its greatest extent of the past 4000 years. Although the timing of several of the advances overlap with the age range of glacial expansion recognized elsewhere in Patagonia, some do not. Asynchronous behavior observed in the glacial record may arise from the type of evidence (e.g., lateral stratigraphy vs. end moraine) used to document glacial fluctuations or variations in climate or glacial response times. A significant difference between the Stoppani record and some other Patagonian records is that the former indicates general expansion of ice over the last 4000 years, whereas the latter indicate a net decrease in extent over that period.
El objetivo de este trabajo es evaluar, a través del estudio de isótopos estables (δ13Cap, δ13Ccol y δ15N), paleodietas y patrones de subsistencia en grupos cazadores-recolectores de la transición pampeano-patagónica oriental (Argentina) durante el Holoceno medio-tardío (ca. 6000–250 aP). Se analizaron 44 individuos adultos de ambos sexos. Los resultados indican que durante el Holoceno medio los herbívoros terrestres, peces marinos y, posiblemente, pinnípedos tuvieron un rol importante en la dieta. Sin embargo, hacia el Holoceno tardío se observó un predominio en el consumo de herbívoros terrestres y peces fluviales, con la consecuente disminución en la ingesta de recursos marinos. También se detectó una ingesta mayor de vegetales a partir de aproximadamente 1000 aP. Durante el Holoceno medio y, probablemente, el Holoceno tardío inicial se registró una tendencia en la distribución espacial de los valores de isótopos estables, ya que los individuos enterrados hasta una distancia de aproximadamente 20 km de la costa presentan dietas marinas y mixtas, mientras que aquellos localizados a una distancia mayor (hasta ca. 130 km) se caracterizan por dietas terrestres. Estas diferencias podrían estar relacionadas con rangos de acción acotados o una demarcación del espacio que pudo involucrar comportamientos territoriales. Los cambios en la dieta a través del tiempo se asemejan a los reportados para el sudeste de Pampa Húmeda, ya que se observa una tendencia hacia una dieta más continental durante el Holoceno tardío.
Las excavaciones arqueológicas y los registros bioantropológicos realizados en el archipiélago de los Chonos (entre 43° 50’ y 46° 50’ S), a lo largo de los canales occidentales de Patagonia, permiten definir la ocupación de este sistema insular por parte de cazadores recolectores marinos desde el Holoceno medio hasta el contacto europeo. Sus conjuntos tecnológicos y arqueofaunísticos señalan una dependencia de recursos del medio litoral y marítimo. La información de isótopos estables del carbono y nitrógeno en restos humanos asociados a estos contextos provee una herramienta de análisis independiente para evaluar las interpretaciones realizadas sobre la base de otros conjuntos de datos arqueológicos. Este trabajo presenta los resultados de análisis de δ13C y δ15N de 38 individuos con edades en el rango entre 2300 y 200 cal aP (fechamientos directos 14C por AMS), así como de muestras complementarias de arqueofauna. El análisis de los valores isotópicos respalda la interpretación de una adaptación cazadora recolectora fundamentada en un patrón de subsistencia enfocado principalmente en recursos litorales y marinos. Los valores de δ13C y δ15N son comparados con los obtenidos de otros grupos canoeros de los canales centrales y meridionales de Patagonia, poniendo de relieve las diferencias en trayectorias de subsistencia entre las regiones involucradas.
Jurassic siliceous hot-spring (sinter) deposits from Argentine Patagonia were evaluated to determine the distribution and preservation quality of their entombed microbial fabrics. Detailed study showed that the Claudia palaeo-geothermal field hosts the best-preserved sinter apron in the Deseado Massif geological province, where we also found hot-spring silica–biotic interactions extending into hydrothermally influenced fluvial and lacustrine settings. Carbonaceous material was identified by petrography and Raman spectroscopy mapping; it is inter-laminated with silica across proximal vent to distal marsh facies. The ubiquitous presence of microbial biosignatures has application to studies of hydrothermal settings of early life on Earth and potentially Mars.
Tradicionalmente, el efecto combinado de la demografía y la productividad de los ambientes patagónicos ha sido invocado para explicar que el interior del bosque del centro-norte de la Patagonia argentina fue utilizado luego de la ocupación de espacios más favorables, con una antigüedad máxima de 3.500 años. El hallazgo de contextos del Holoceno temprano y medio en el sitio de Población Anticura situado en el bosque mixto permite reformular este escenario. El análisis sedimentario, de los procesos de formación y de la evidencia arqueológica recuperada indica, para estos momentos, la existencia de ocupaciones breves y con cierta redundancia a través del tiempo, con conjuntos artefactuales pequeños pero variados, una subsistencia basada en el huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus) y el consumo ocasional de especies de menor tamaño corporal como alimento y como materia prima. La procedencia de algunos materiales sugiere que el uso temprano del interior del bosque estaría vinculado a redes de circulación amplias en el marco de una baja demografía, mientras que la naturaleza de las ocupaciones muestra un conocimiento del ambiente que señala que los contextos más antiguos de Población Anticura no reflejan la primera exploración del interior del bosque.
Through the last millennium, Patagonia has been affected by changing climate conditions and successive volcanic eruptions. Lake Tonček is a high-altitude lake in the Southern Volcanic Zone in the northern Patagonian Andes. We documented the responses of the subfossil chironomid community to the effects of successive volcanic and different conditions in a sedimentary sequence from this lake comprising the last 900 years. The community composition and structure (abundance, diversity, and richness) and the development of morphological anomalies in the chironomid mouthparts were evaluated throughout the core. Both climatic conditions and volcanism affected the chironomid community differentially. The chironomid community changed following short-term climate change patterns, being affecting not only by temperature changes but also by variations in the regional precipitation regime. Decreases in abundance and diversity were only observed in coarse volcanic layers. In these samples, we recorded a high percentage of damaged chironomid mouthparts caused by mechanical wear, breakage or abrasion, possibly due to the increase of mineral particles. Our results represent important baseline data about the responses of chironomid communities to environmental disturbances in high-altitude lakes over long time frames.
Bromine (Br) to organic matter (OM) concentration ratio is studied in lake sediment sequences to provide information on environmental changes modifying OM production. The sequences studied were extracted from shallow lakes Morenito, El Trébol, Escondido, and Portezuelo; and deep lakes Futalaufquen, Moreno, and Traful (North Patagonia Andean range). Lake Morenito, a former Lake Moreno bay until its closure in AD 1960, showed a decrease in Br:OM ratios from 1.38 to 0.74 after lake closure, associated with an increase of primary autochthonous productivity attributable to the development of submerged and emerging macrophytes. Sedimentary sequences from Lakes Escondido, Portezuelo, and El Trébol (with large participation of macrophytes in primary productivity), and from Lakes Moreno, Futalaufquen, and Traful (with little development of littoral macrophytes), showed Br:OM ratios consistent with the Lake Morenito pattern. Consistently, the morphometric parameters mean depth and shoreline development correlate with Br:OM ratios. Therefore, Br:OM ratios can be associated with the composition of primary autochthonous productivity, with values of about 0.7 associated to significant macrophyte contributions, and higher values associated with more pelagic contributions. Accordingly, Br:OM variations along a sedimentary sequence can be associated with modifications on the composition of the primary autochthonous productivity of the water body, providing information on environmental changes.
In this paper we discuss the use of mineral pigments recovered in stratigraphic position from three excavated archaeological sites (Traful Lake area, Argentina) with the aim of providing information on selection and frequency of use of these raw materials. In this region, human occupation has been recorded since 4000 BP. In order to identify the chromophoric minerals, we applied wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, Raman spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction techniques. Green, red, yellow ochre, and white pigments dated between 3490 and 590 BP were analyzed. The results show that different analytical techniques provide complementary information in order to identify the pigments. Green, red, and yellow samples are related to iron-based compounds. The green pigments can be associated with celadonite and the others with hematite. White samples revealed the presence of hydroxyapatite. Black dots, identified as carbon, were observed in several samples. Red pigments are always predominant, and their relative abundance increases in recent strata. Results are discussed in light of the context and previous reports of chroniclers.
Cystic echinococcosis caused by Echinococcus granulosus is a major zoonosis of public health significance in the Patagonian region of Argentina. This investigation sought to test the hypothesis that the persistence and dispersion of the parasite eggs can be explained by physical and meteorological parameters along with final host infection and behaviour. This observational study was carried out over a five-year period within an enclosure where two dogs harbouring a worm burden ranging from 100 to 1000 mature adult E. granulosus, as well as two uninfected dogs, had previously been kept for six months. Environmental canine faeces, topsoil, pond water, and sediment samples were examined to control for the presence of eggs and coproantigens of the parasite using microscope-based techniques and copro-ELISA plus copro-Western Blot tests. The parasite eggs were detected up to 41 months later in faeces from infected dogs, soil and sediment, and coproantigen tests remained positive for up to 70 months in faeces. Overall, parasite eggs were found within a maximum distance of 115 m from the contaminated dog faeces deposition site. Our findings indicate that under Patagonian environmental conditions, egg persistence and dispersion seem to be related to the worm burden and habits of the infected dog, to prevailing wind direction and to the existence of low bushes as well as natural bodies of water. The present study is the first to provide direct evidence of interaction between bioclimatic conditions and E. granulosus egg dispersion under Patagonian field conditions.
The timing, structure, and landscape change during the Patagonian Ice Sheet deglaciation remains unresolved. In this article, we provide a geomorphic, stratigraphic, and geochronological deglacial record of Río Cisnes Glacier at 44°S and also from the nearby Río Ñirehuao and Río El Toqui valleys (45°S) in Chilean Patagonia. Our 14C, 10Be, and optically stimulated luminescence data indicate that after the last glacial maximum, Río Cisnes Glacier experienced ~100 km deglaciation between >19.0 and 12.3 ka, accompanied by the formation of large glacial paleolakes. Deglaciation was interrupted by several ice readvances, and by 16.9±0.3 ka, Río Cisnes Glacier extended only ~40% of its full glacial extent. The deglaciation of Río Cisnes Glacier and other sensitive Patagonian glaciers occurred at least 1 ka earlier than the ca. 17.8 ka normally assumed for the local termination, coincident with West Antarctic isotope records. This early deglaciation can be linked to an orbital forcing–driven decline of Southern Ocean sea ice associated with a distinct atmospheric warming that is apparent for West Antarctica through Patagonia.
The nationalist Welsh colony in Patagonia, Y Wladfa, offers a peripheral vantage point from which to reconsider core assumptions about settler colonialism and the British World. Taking a fresh approach to settler colonial studies, this article both pays close attention to settler motives before embarkation and also analyses the case from a global perspective. It foregrounds the role of unequal power relations in Britain, the British World, and the global arena in shaping social relations at home and in the colony, as well as locating Y Wladfa within a constellation of Welsh sites and influences around the world. Analysis reveals the Welsh to occupy a complex position within such global hierarchies, and to be colonizing Patagonia from a colonized position. As such, this case at the margins of settler power reveals important ambiguities, tensions, and affinities that challenge assumptions in settler colonial theory, and open spaces that might enrich and deepen analysis of this fundamentally global relationship of power.
The chronology of over 50 tephra layers preserved in a lake sediment core from Laguna La Trapananda (LLT) in the southern portion of the Andean Southern Volcanic Zone (SSVZ), Chile, is constrained by new radiocarbon age determinations, which span the period from late Pleistocene glacial retreat to the late Holocene. The tephra are correlative with tephra previously described from other lake cores in the region and are attributed to explosive eruptions of the SSVZ volcanoes Mentolat, Hudson, Macá, and potentially Cay. The new age determinations are used to estimate the ages of the >50 tephra in the LLT core, as well as those from the other previously described lake cores in the area, by a Bayesian statistical method. The results constrain the frequency of explosive eruptions of the volcanic centers in the southernmost SSVZ. They indicate that there was essentially no increase in the rate of eruptions from late-glacial to recent times due to deglaciation. They also provide isochrones used to constrain the depositional histories of the small lacustrine systems within which they were deposited and they provide a tephrochronologic tool for other paleoclimatic, paleoecologic, archaeologic and tephrochronologic studies in central Patagonia.
Ten marine reservoir effect (R) values were obtained from archaeological shell-middens along the San Matías Gulf, North Patagonian Atlantic coast, Argentina. They were determined by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) measurements on marine shell (Mytilidae) and charcoal samples (burned, short-lived plants) derived from a common stratigraphic unit. The R values fluctuate between 205±48 and 358±56 14C yr BP from ca. 5300 to ca. 700 14C yr BP with no obvious temporal trend. Calculated ΔR values fluctuate between +30±66 and –162±48 yr during the same time span. Local factors such as restricted connection with the open sea or presence of aged carbonates do not appear to have had an influence on this effect along the gulf coastline. The mean R value obtained (266 ± 51 yr) constitutes a useful value for correcting ages in shells from abundant archaeological deposits recorded in the area since Middle Holocene times.
The European colonisation of South America had different effects on the indigenous peoples, particularly on mobile hunter-gatherer societies such as those that inhabited mainland southern continental Patagonia and the island of Tierra del Fuego. The combination of archaeological data with ethnographic and historical accounts shows contrasting contexts for the manufacture of scrapers and projectile points with new raw materials such as glass and stoneware within these two distinct geographic areas. These differences are explained by a number of key factors: the introduction of the horse, the role of guanaco in a newly imposed capitalist economic framework, demographic patterns, bio-geographic barriers and the establishment of ‘reservations’ and missions.
Lacustrine sediments retrieved from Laguna Potrok Aike in the framework of the Potrok Aike Maar Lake Sediment Archive Drilling Project (PASADO) offer the possibility to investigate climate variations of the past ~51 cal ka BP in Southern Hemispheric midlatitudes, Argentinean Patagonia. This study focuses on short-term cyclicities in the Ca and magnetic susceptibility data sets between 51 and 15 cal ka BP. The record yields a climate pattern with a periodicity of 1.5 ka during Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage 2 (MIS 2) detected in the Southern Hemisphere from 31 to 17 cal ka BP for the first time. MIS 2 is known for constantly cold temperatures, whereas prominent climate variations paced by a 1.5 ka periodicity occurred during MIS 3. Our study documents that minor latitudinal oscillations of the Southern Hemispheric westerlies and the polar easterlies with a 1.5 ka periodicity also took place during MIS 2. However, we assume that because of a major northward displacement of the Southern Hemispheric westerlies, these oscillations did not sufficiently affect the zone of Circumpolar Deep Waters and an increased greenhouse effect by upwelling of CO2-rich deep waters did not occur. This mechanism illustrates why prominent climate events fail to appear during MIS 2.
Research in two distinct steppe landscapes in southern Patagonia—the western basaltic plateaux and the central Deseado Massif—compares hunter-gatherer strategies in the two environments, focusing on the use of hunting blinds and associated tactics in the hunting of guanaco. The evidence obtained brings this region into discussions about the use of rocky structures and the recognition of tactics used for hunting ungulates in a global perspective. The authors also emphasise the importance of highland settings as major and reliable sources of critical resources for foraging peoples, a topic still not fully appreciated in archaeological studies of hunter-gatherers.