Horned Armadillos and Rafting Monkeys: The Fascinating Fossil Mammals of South America

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Indiana University Press, Aug 29, 2016 - 320 pages
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South America is home to some of the most distinctive mammals on Earth—giant armadillos, tiny anteaters, the world’s largest rodent, and its smallest deer. But the continent once supported a variety of other equally intriguing mammals that have no close living relatives: armored mammals with tail clubs, saber-toothed marsupials, and even a swimming sloth. We know of the existence of these peculiar species thanks to South America’s rich fossil record, which provides many glimpses of prehistoric mammals and the ecosystems in which they lived. Organized as a "walk through time" and featuring species from 15 important fossil sites, this book is the most extensive and richly illustrated volume devoted exclusively to the Cenozoic mammals of South America. The text is supported by 75 life reconstructions of extinct species in their native habitats, as well as photographs of fossil specimens and the sites highlighted in the book. An annotated bibliography is included for those interested in delving into the scientific literature.

 

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Contents

1 Time and Geography
3
2 Introduction to Mammals
9
Early South American Phase and TransAtlantic Dispersal Interval TADI
21
Late South American Phase
75
The Great American Biotic Interchange GABI and the Interamerican Phase
175
Further Reading
239
Appendices
261
Glossary
293
Index
299
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

Darin A. Croft is Associate Professor of Anatomy at Case Western Reserve University and a research associate at several museums, including the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. He is an authority on the extinct mammals of South America and has active field programs in the Andes of Chile and Bolivia.

Velizar Simeonovski is an artist based in Chicago who specializes in life reconstructions of extinct species and visualizations of ancient landscapes. His works have been featured in scientific journals and magazines, in the book Extinct Madagascar: Picturing the Island's Past, and in museum exhibits in the US and in his home country of Bulgaria.

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