TOMASSINI Rodrigo Leandro
A New Glyptodont (Xenarthra: Cingulata) from the Late Miocene of Argentina: New Clues About the Oldest Extra-Patagonian Radiation in Southern South America
BARASOAIN, DANIEL; ZURITA, ALFREDO E.; CROFT, DARIN A.; MONTALVO, CLAUDIA I.; CONTRERAS, VÍCTOR H.; MIÑO-BOILINI, ÁNGEL R.; TOMASSINI, RODRIGO L.
JOURNAL OF MAMMALIAN EVOLUTION
Lugar: Berlin; Año: 2022
Glyptodonts (Xenarthra, Cingulata) are one of the most amazing Cenozoic South American mammals, with some terminal forms reaching ca. two tons. The Paleogene record of glyptodonts is still poorly known, although some of their diversification is observable in Patagonian Argentina. Since the early and middle Miocene (ca. 19-13 Ma), two large clades can be recognized in South America. One probably has a northern origin (Glyptodontinae), while the other one, called the "austral clade", is interpreted to have had an austral origin, with the oldest records represented by the "Propalaehoplophorinae" from the late early Miocene of Patagonian Argentina. In this scenario, the extra-Patagonian radiations are still poorly known, despite their importance for understanding the late Miocene and Pliocene diversity. Here, we carry out a comprehensive revision of late Miocene (Chasicoan Stage/Age) glyptodonts of central Argentina (Buenos Aires and San Juan provinces). Our results show that, contrary to what is traditionally assumed, it was a period of very low diversity, with only one species recognized in this region, Kelenkura castroi gen et sp. nov. Our phylogenetic analysis shows that this species represents the sister taxon of the remaining species of the "austral clade", representing the first branch of the extra-Patagonian radiation. Additionally, K. castroi is the first taxon showing a "fully modern" morphology of the caudal tube.