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Article: A new dwarf seal from the late Neogene of South America and the evolution of pinnipeds in the southern hemisphere

Papers in Palaeontology - Cover Image - Volume 2 Part 1
Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 2
Part: 1
Publication Date: Febuary 2016
Page(s): 101 115
Author(s): Ana M. Valenzuela‐Toro, Nicholas D. Pyenson, Carolina S. Gutstein, and Mario E. Suárez
DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1033
Addition Information

How to Cite

VALENZUELA‐TORO, A.M., PYENSON, N.D., GUTSTEIN, C.S., SUÁREZ, M.E. 2016. A new dwarf seal from the late Neogene of South America and the evolution of pinnipeds in the southern hemisphere. Papers in Palaeontology, 2, 1, 101-115. DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1033

Author Information

  • Ana M. Valenzuela‐Toro - Universidad de Chile Red Paleontológica U.Chile Laboratorio de Ontogenia y Filogenia Departamento de Biología Facultad de Ciencias Ñuñoa Santiago Chile (Email: avalenzuela.toro@gmail.com)
  • Ana M. Valenzuela‐Toro - Smithsonian Institution Department of Paleobiology National Museum of Natural History Washington DC USA
  • Nicholas D. Pyenson - Smithsonian Institution Department of Paleobiology National Museum of Natural History Washington DC USA (Email: pyensonn@si.edu)
  • Nicholas D. Pyenson - Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture Departments of Mammalogy and Paleontology Seattle WA USA
  • Carolina S. Gutstein - Universidad de Chile Red Paleontológica U.Chile Laboratorio de Ontogenia y Filogenia Departamento de Biología Facultad de Ciencias Ñuñoa Santiago Chile (Email: sgcarolina@gmail.com)
  • Carolina S. Gutstein - Smithsonian Institution Department of Paleobiology National Museum of Natural History Washington DC USA
  • Mario E. Suárez - Universidad de Chile Red Paleontológica U.Chile Laboratorio de Ontogenia y Filogenia Departamento de Biología Facultad de Ciencias Ñuñoa Santiago Chile (Email: marioesuarezp@gmail.com)

Publication History

  • Issue published online: 13 February 2016
  • Article first published online: 01 January 1970
  • Manuscript Accepted: 15 September 2015
  • Manuscript Received: 25 May 2015

Funded By

CONICYT‐PCHA/Magister Nacional/2013‐221320410. Grant Number: 9391‐13
National Geographic Society Committee on Research Exploration and a Smithsonian Institution Graduate Fellowship
National Museum of Natural History (NMNH)
NMNH Office of the Director, the Smithsonian Institution's Remington Kellogg Fund
National Geographic Society Committee on Research Exploration grants. Grant Numbers: 8903‐11, 9019‐11
U‐REDES

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Abstract

Along the south‐western coast of South America, three genera of fossil phocids (true seals) have been formally described from the late Neogene: Acrophoca and Piscophoca from Chile and Peru, and, more recently, Hadrokirus from Peru, which all represent medium‐ to large‐sized phocids. Here, we report the discovery of Australophoca changorum gen. et sp. nov., a diminutive phocid from the late Miocene of the Bahía Inglesa Formation (northern Chile) and Pisco Formation (southern Peru), comparable in size with the smallest species of modern phocids. This taxon is based on diagnostic postcranial material, including a humerus that has an elongated deltopectoral crest but lacks an entepicondylar foramen; a femur with a subtrochanteric fossa, among other characters; in combination with a relatively small body size. All these features together distinguish A. changorum from all other reported pinnipeds. This new taxon not only increases the taxonomic and morphological diversity of phocids of the late Neogene of the eastern South Pacific Ocean, but it also provides new insights about the evolutionary history of fossil pinniped assemblages in South America and, broadly, in the southern hemisphere.

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