INSTITUTO SUPERIOR DE CORRELACION GEOLOGICA
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Novedoso hallazgo de egagrópilas para el Mioceno tardío de la provincia de Catamarca, Formación Andalhuala, Argentina
N. L. NASIF; G. I. ESTEBAN; P. E. ORTIZ
Serie Correlación Geológica
INSUGEO, CONICET - Editorial MAGNA Publicaciones
Lugar: San Miguel de Tucumán; Año: 2009 vol. 25 p. 95 - 95
We report the finding of two fossil bird pellets recovered from outcrops of Andalhuala Formation (Late Miocene), Santa María valley, Catamarca province, Argentina. The pellets are composed by several microvertebrate fossil bones and teeth included in a sandy matrix. We interpret that these structures were produced by the trophic activity of small predator, the terror birds (Phorusrhacidae, Psilopterinae), that lived in the area during the late Miocene. The pellets have centimetrical size scale, subovoid shape, and a highly calcareous matrix, and content highly concentrated and well preserved several cranial and postcranial fragmentary remains belonging to small rodents (Octodontidae and Cricetidae). Some long bones are nearly complete (diaphysis plus epiphyses), other bones are articulated and others are irregularly disposed. Some teeth show clear evidence of corrosion in enamel (pitting), due to digestive process of predators. This finding constitutes the oldest direct physic evidence of a bird pellet in South America and the oldest record of a cricetid rodent in this continent.