The taxonomic status of the Pliocene capybaras (Rodentia) Phugatherium Ameghino and Chapalmatherium Ameguino

Document title: The taxonomic status of the Pliocene capybaras (Rodentia) Phugatherium Ameghino and Chapalmatherium Ameguino
Journal: Ameghiniana
System number: 000376467
ISSN: 0002-7014
Authors: 1
Institutions: 1Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Museo de La Plata, La Plata, Buenos Aires. Argentina
2Museo Paleontológico "Egidio Feruglio", Trelew, Chubut. Argentina
3Universidad Nacional de La Pampa, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Santa Rosa, La Pampa. Argentina
Season: Jun
Volumen: 51
Number: 3
Pages: 173-183
Country: Argentina
Language: Inglés
Document type: Artículo
Approach: Taxonómico
English abstract Living capybaras are a unique group of rodents. They have ever-growing cheek teeth with a complicated occlusal morphology that changes even after birth. Concerning fossil capybaras this morphological change, associated with increasing size, led to regard them as taxo- nomically highly diverse, including small species with simple dental morphology, and large species with complicated cheek teeth, considered as primitive and derived, respectively. Recently, it was proposed that the different morphs found in each locality actually represent individuals of different ontogenetic stages of a population or successive populations, rather than a multiplicity of coeval species in different stages of evo- lution. For the Pliocene, the richest locality for capybaras is Farola Monte Hermoso on the southern coast of Buenos Aires Province. This lo- cality yielded four nominal species of capybaras, three of them are a small morph (Phugatherium cataclisticum Ameghino, “Anchimysops villalobosi” Kraglievich, “A. ultra” Kraglievich) and the other a large one (“Chapalmatherium perturbidum” (Ameghino)). In this paper we propose that they represent juveniles and adults of one species, P. cataclisticum. In order to evaluate the phylogenetic position of Phugath- erium within Cavioidea a cladistic analysis was performed modifying a previously published combined matrix of morphology and DNA sequences. Phugatherium forms a monophyletic group and is the sister group of modern capybaras. Within Phugatherium the most basal species is P. novum Ameghino, whereas the type species P. cataclisticum is the sister group of P. saavedrai Hoffstetter, Villarroel and Rodrigo
Disciplines: Biología
Keyword: Evolución y filogenia,
América del Sur
Keyword: Biology,
Evolution and phylogeny,
South America
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