The Paleontology of Gran Barranca: Evolution and Environmental Change Through the Middle Cenozoic of Patagonia

Richard H. Madden, Alfredo A. Carlini, Maria Guiomar Vucetich, Richard F. Kay
Cambridge University Press, Jun 17, 2010 - 448 páginas
Gran Barranca in Patagonia exposes the most complete sequence of middle Cenozoic paleofaunas in South America. It is the only continuous continental fossil record of the Southern Hemisphere between 42 and 18 million years ago, when climates at high latitudes transitioned from warm humid to cold dry conditions. This volume presents the geochronology of the fossil mammal sequence and a compilation of the latest studies of the stratigraphy, sedimentology, mammals, plants, invertebrates and trace fossils. It is also the first detailed treatment of the vertebrate faunal sequence at Gran Barranca, providing important new evidence about biotic diversity and evolution in the native species. A revised taxonomy allows a reevaluation of the origination and extinction of herbivorous mammals, marsupials, and xenarthrans, and the earliest occurrence of rodents and primates in southern latitudes. Academic researchers and advanced students in vertebrate paleontology, geochronology, sedimentology and paleoprimatology will value this wealth of new information.

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1 Notes toward a history of vertebrate paleontology at Gran Barranca
Part I Geology
Part II Systematic paleontology
Part III Patterns of evolution and environmental change
Part IV Regional applications
Part V Summary
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Richard H. Madden has been a Research Associate at the Duke University Medical Center for the last twenty years where he assists in the teaching of anatomy in the School of Medicine. His current research interests include the relationship between climate, earth surface processes, and the geographic and temporal patterns of soil ingestion and tooth wear in mammalian herbivores as these may relate to evolution of tooth mineral volume.

Alfredo A. Carlini is a Research Paleontologist of Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) and Professor of Comparative Anatomy at the National University of La Plata, Argentina. His research interests focus on the morphological diversity, evolutionary trends, ontogeny, systematics, biostratigraphy, and biogeography of armadillos and living and fossil xenarthrans, with over 100 scientific publications in books and journals.

Maria Guiomar Vucetich is a Research Palaeontologist of Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) and Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the National University of La Plata, Argentina, where she has worked since 1971. Her research interests involve the evolutionary history of caviomorph rodents and she has published nearly 100 scientific articles on this topic.

Richard F. Kay is Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology, and Earth and Ocean Sciences at Duke University, North Carolina, where he has worked since 1973. He has edited five books and authored more than 200 research papers on primate paleontology, functional anatomy, adaptations, and phylogenetics. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (USA).

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