SCANFERLA Carlos Agustin
PIPID FROG FROM THE PLEISTOCENE OF THE PAMPAS OF SOUTHERN SOUTH AMERICA
ANA M. BÁEZ, CARLOS A. SCANFERLA, FEDERICO L. AGNOLIN, MARCOS CENIZO, & MARTIN DE LOS REYES
JOURNAL OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY
SOC VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY
Año: 2008 vol. 28 p. 1194 - 1198
Crown-group Pipidae belongs to an ancient lineage of anurans with many aquatic adaptations. Living pipids are confined to thetropical lowlands of northern South America east of the Andes,eastern Panama, and sub-Saharan Africa. In South America theyare represented by the genus Pipa, which includes one of themost bizarre-looking anurans, namely P. pipa. Fossil finds, however, indicate that pipids formerly were more taxonomically diverse and widespread in South America, reaching high latitudes in Patagonia during the Cretaceous and Paleogene. Their disappearance from the fossil record in the southern part of the continent is coincident with the progressive climatic deterioration that began in the late Eoceneearly Oligocene and which may have contributed to a reduction of freshwater habitats in the region. Recent fieldworkin Quaternary outcrops in Argentina has led to the remarkable discovery of pipid remains, 2000 km beyond the southernmost limit of extant pipids in South America. Although only a few postcranial bones were recovered, these have a highly distinctivemorphology that leaves no doubt as to their taxonomic allocation. These and other paracontemporanous fossils indicate a relatively recent and dramatic faunal turnover in the Pampean region, which likely resulted from drastic environmental changes induced by glaciation.