Taxonomy and systematic of fossil hog-nosed skunks, genus Conepatus (Carnivora: Mephitidae) from Argentina

Authors
Schiaffini, Mauro Ignacio; Prevosti, Francisco Juan
Publication Year
2019
Language
English
Format
article
Status
Published version
Description
There are three extant species of hog-nosed skunks widely distributed from North to South America, with a dubious number of fossil species. The oldest record comes from the early Pliocene of Mexico, while several Pleistocene species were registered from Argentina (Conepatus cordubensis, C. mercedensis and C. primaevus, plus C. altiramus with a dubious provenance). Conepatus talarae and C. semistriatus were recovered in Late Pleistocene levels of other countries of South America. Unfortunately, there is no recent review of South American fossil Conepatus’, thus the status of several species is not clear. We review the systematics of fossil Conepatus species from Argentina, using morphological descriptions, geometric morphometric analyses and taking into account recent intraspecific variation. We also performed a cladistic analysis to explore the phylogenetic position of the valid fossil species. Morphological variation and morphometric analyses allowed us to recognize three extinct valid species for Argentina: C. altiramus, C. mercedensis and C. primaevus, with varying degrees of overlap between fossil and extant species. Phylogenetic analyses showed that Mydaus is the sister extant group of the other three genera, Mephitis is the sister group of Conepatus, and within this genus there is a “northern” clade that departs from a “southern” clade, as previously reported; the southern clade does not have internal resolution. Fossil records with confident stratigraphic provenance indicate that Conepatus is present in South America after 1.8 Ma jointly with several clades that migrated during the Great American Biotic Interchange, and has first confirmed records in the Ensenadan (early-Middle Pleistocene).
Fil: Schiaffini, Mauro Ignacio. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Patagonia Norte. Centro de Investigación Esquel de Montaña y Estepa Patagóica. Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia "San Juan Bosco". Facultad de Ciencias Naturales - Sede Esquel. Centro de Investigación Esquel de Montaña y Estepa Patagónica; Argentina. Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia "San Juan Bosco". Facultad de Ciencias Naturales - Sede Esquel. Laboratorio de Investigaciones en Evolución y Biodiversidad; Argentina
Fil: Prevosti, Francisco Juan. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Regional de Investigaciones Científicas y Transferencia Tecnológica de La Rioja. - Universidad Nacional de La Rioja. Centro Regional de Investigaciones Científicas y Transferencia Tecnológica de La Rioja. - Universidad Nacional de Catamarca. Centro Regional de Investigaciones Científicas y Transferencia Tecnológica de La Rioja. - Secretaría de Industria y Minería. Servicio Geológico Minero Argentino. Centro Regional de Investigaciones Científicas y Transferencia Tecnológica de La Rioja. - Provincia de La Rioja. Centro Regional de Investigaciones Científicas y Transferencia Tecnológica de La Rioja; Argentina
Subject
EVOLUTION
GEOMETRIC MORPHOMETRICS
GREAT AMERICAN BIOTIC INTERCHANGE
MEPHITIDAE
PHYLOGENY
Zoología, Ornitología, Entomología, Etología
Ciencias Biológicas
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:11336/81423