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Shedding Light on the Taxonomic Diversity of the South American Miocene Caimans: The Status of Melanosuchus fisheri (Crocodylia, Alligatoroidea)


Bona, Paula; Blanco, M Victoria Fernandez; Schever, Torsten M; Both, Christian (2017). Shedding Light on the Taxonomic Diversity of the South American Miocene Caimans: The Status of Melanosuchus fisheri (Crocodylia, Alligatoroidea). Ameghiniana, 54(6):681-687.

Abstract

Melanosuchus niger Spix is distributed throughout the Amazon River basin today. The extinct Melanosuchus fisheri Medina from the late Miocene of Venezuela was erected based on two almost complete, but heavily deformed skulls (the holotype MCNC 243 and the referred specimen MCZ 4336), which show morphological differences from each other. The comparison indicates that only the holotype can be referred to Melanosuchus Gray. We propose MCZ 4336 is a representative of the caimanine Globidentosuchus brachyrostris Scheyer, Aguilera, Delfino, Fortier, Carlini, Sánchez, Carrillo-Briceño, Quiroz and Sánchez-Villagra. Although the taxonomy of M. fisheri is taken into question herein, the classification of the holotype still sustains the hypothesis that the genus is registered in South America since the late Miocene.
Key words. Miocene. South America. Caimans. Amazonia. Black caiman. Caimaninae. Neogene.

Abstract

Melanosuchus niger Spix is distributed throughout the Amazon River basin today. The extinct Melanosuchus fisheri Medina from the late Miocene of Venezuela was erected based on two almost complete, but heavily deformed skulls (the holotype MCNC 243 and the referred specimen MCZ 4336), which show morphological differences from each other. The comparison indicates that only the holotype can be referred to Melanosuchus Gray. We propose MCZ 4336 is a representative of the caimanine Globidentosuchus brachyrostris Scheyer, Aguilera, Delfino, Fortier, Carlini, Sánchez, Carrillo-Briceño, Quiroz and Sánchez-Villagra. Although the taxonomy of M. fisheri is taken into question herein, the classification of the holotype still sustains the hypothesis that the genus is registered in South America since the late Miocene.
Key words. Miocene. South America. Caimans. Amazonia. Black caiman. Caimaninae. Neogene.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Language:English
Date:8 June 2017
Deposited On:14 Feb 2018 14:01
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 11:10
Publisher:BioOne
ISSN:0002-7014
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.5710/AMGH.08.06.2017.3103

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