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Data from: Patagonian Eocene Archaeopithecidae Ameghino, 1897 (Notoungulata): systematic revision, phylogeny and biostratigraphy

Citation

Vera, Bárbara (2017), Data from: Patagonian Eocene Archaeopithecidae Ameghino, 1897 (Notoungulata): systematic revision, phylogeny and biostratigraphy, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.h2900

Abstract

The Archaeopithecidae is a very poorly known group of native ungulates from the Eocene of Patagonia (Argentina), whose alpha taxonomy has remained obscure since Ameghino’s times. It is traditionally considered as a family representative of the Casamayoran (middle Eocene) South American Land Mammal Age and it is thought to be morphologically close to the notopithecids. After studying more than 200 specimens from several institutions, including all the type specimens, a taxonomic overestimation is established. Out of the six species considered originally as archaeopithecids, Archaeopithecus rogeri is here recognized as the only valid name and species; subsequent synonymies are proposed and previous taxonomic hypotheses discarded. This exhaustive revision has permitted improving the knowledge of A. rogeri and, for the first time, it has revealed many craniodental characters which allow amending its diagnosis and differentiating this taxon from other Eocene notoungulates. Archaeopithecus rogeri is a small-sized taxon characterized by its complete and rooted dentition, which is relatively higher than that of other contemporaneous short-crowned notoungulates and shows ontogenetic variation in size and morphology. The body mass range of A. rogeri (1.4–2.5 kg) is comparable to those of notopithecids and some small hegetotheriids. The phylogenetic analysis shows A. rogeri is not directly related to any family within Notoungulata, appearing into a polytomy, as a basal taxon of typotherians. The biochronological range of A. rogeri is adjusted to Vacan (middle Eocene) through the Barrancan subages (late middle Eocene); older (Riochican, late early Eocene) and younger (Mustersan, late Eocene) records remain to be confirmed.

Usage Notes

Location

South America
Argentina
Patagonia