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Late Oligocene mesotheriids (Mammalia, Notoungulata) from Salla and Lacayani (Bolivia) : implications for basal mesotheriid phylogeny and distribution

Billet, Guillaume; De Muizon, Christian; Quispe, Bernardino Mamani

Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 152(1): 153-200

2008


ISSN/ISBN: 0024-4082
DOI: 10.1111/j.1096-3642.2007.00388.x
Accession: 021263821

The oldest known mesotheriids are referred to the genus Trachytherus, a taxon traditionally included in its own subfamily 'Trachytheriinae'. The ontogeny, morphological variation and systematics of the genus Trachytherus are still poorly understood and the monophyly of this taxon is questionable. For the first time, a large collection of basal mesotheriids (belonging to the genus Trachytherus) yielded by the Bolivian Salla beds (Deseadan, late Oligocene) and previously referred to T. spegazzinianus was included in a large-scale analysis. This has led to the recognition of a unique new species in the locality of Salla-Luribay, distinct from T. spegazzinianus: Trachytherus alloxus sp. nov. Skulls of this species are described and cheekteeth variation range throughout ontogeny is discussed. These new data are incorporated in a parsimony analysis of basal mesotheriids. The most probable hypothesis of a clade T. spegazzinianus-mesotheriines is discussed. The distinction of the new Salla species from the Patagonian species T. spegazzinianus confirms the faunal differences observed between these Bolivian and Patagonian Deseadan localities. Moreover, the assignment to Trachytherus spegazzinianus of mesotheriid remains from the Bolivian Lacayani deposits complicates the problem of these faunal differences. Further systematic investigations on the Lacayani fauna and on the age of the Patagonian localities are needed. (C) 2008 The Linnean Society of London.

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