A Pleistocene giant river otter from Argentina: Remarks on the fossil record and phylogenetic analysis

Authors
Prevosti, Francisco Juan; Ferrero, Brenda Soledad
Publication Year
2008
Language
English
Format
article
Status
Published version
Description
The fossil record of Neotropical Lutrinae is very incomplete, with a few specimens of Lontra and three records of Pteronura. The published records of Pteronura correspond to remains of Pteronura sp. from Lujanian beds in Entre Ríos province (Argentina) and P. brasiliensis found in the "Late Pleistocene" of Brazil, but they lack stratigraphic context and their age could range from at least 380-0.9 Ka. P. brasiliensis, the giant river otter, inhabits rivers and lakes of northern central South America, and has been related to the North American fossil otter Satherium. In this work we describe and compare a very complete specimen of Pteronura found in Entre Rios province using classical morphological descriptive and multivariate analyses, discuss the importance of this specimen for the fossil record of the taxon, and perform a preliminary phylogenetic analysis. The specimen agrees in morphometric and qualitative characters with the recent species P. brasiliensis, but is slightly larger and presents some minor differences in skull and dental morphology. These differences are interpreted as intraspecific variation, thus the fossil is interpreted as P. brasifiensis. In the phylogenetic analysis, the studied specimen clusters with P. brasiliensis, corroborating the taxonomic determination and supporting a relationship between Satherium and Pteronura. The specimen is the first fossil record of the genus for Argentina, and the oldest corroborated record, with a 130-125 Ka tentative age.
Fil: Prevosti, Francisco Juan. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina. Universidad Nacional de La Plata. Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo. División Paleontología Vertebrados; Argentina
Fil: Ferrero, Brenda Soledad. Provincia de Entre Ríos. Centro de Investigaciones Científicas y Transferencia de Tecnología a la Producción. Universidad Autónoma de Entre Ríos. Centro de Investigaciones Científicas y Transferencia de Tecnología a la Producción. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Santa Fe. Centro de Investigaciones Científicas y Transferencia de Tecnología a la Producción; Argentina
Subject
Carnivora
Mustelidae
Fossil
Entre Ríos
Paleontología
Ciencias de la Tierra y relacionadas con el Medio Ambiente
CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS
Access level
Restricted access
License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ar/
Repository
CONICET Digital (CONICET)
Institution
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
OAI Identifier
oai:ri.conicet.gov.ar:11336/80190