Domo de Zaza, an early Miocene vertebrate locality in south-central Cuba : with notes on the tectonic evolution of Puerto Rico and the Mona Passage. American Museum novitates ; no.3394

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dc.contributor.author MacPhee, R. D. E. en_US
dc.contributor.author Iturralde-Vinent, Manuel. en_US
dc.contributor.author Gaffney, Eugene S. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2005-10-06T16:39:25Z
dc.date.available 2005-10-06T16:39:25Z
dc.date.issued 2003 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2246/2820
dc.description 42 p. : ill. (some col.), maps (1 col.) ; 26 cm. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 38-42). en_US
dc.description.abstract "This report summarizes the results of paleontological and geological investigations carried out during the 1990s at Domo de Zaza, a late early Miocene vertebrate locality in south-central Cuba. Paleontologically, the most important result of fieldwork at Zaza was the first discovery of terrestrial mammals of Tertiary age in Cuba. Three terrestrial mammal taxa are now known from this locality--a megalonychid sloth (Imagocnus zazae), an isolobodontine capromyid rodent (Zazamys veronicae), and a platyrrhine primate (Paralouatta marianae, new species). In addition to these finds, a number of selachian, chelonian, crocodylian, cetacean, and sirenian remains have been recovered. Domo de Zaza is a low hill transected by a large artificial channel, the Canal de Zaza, whose walls provide an extensive exposure of Miocene sediments attributable to the Lagunitas Formation (Fm). This formation is laterally and vertically complex, showing evidence of at least four different depositional regimes. However, the sedimentary sequence indicates that all depositional phases took place within a broader episode of transgression. Estimated Burdigalian age (16.1-21.5 Ma) for Lagunitas Fm is based on the presence of marine invertebrate taxa corresponding to the late early Miocene Miogypsina-Soritiidae zone. The overall transgressive aspect of Lagunitas suggests rising sea level, possibly in correlation with a global onlap event. Within Burdigalian time, the most likely correlate is the eustatic rise centered on 17.5-18.5 Ma. Most of the vertebrate fossils were recovered from lagoonal and alluvial beds; those from lagoonal beds are exceptionally well preserved. The terrestrial facies displays evidence of paleosol formation, subaerial erosion, and plant life in the form of grass and palm pollen. Other evidence indicates that most of the present-day highlands of Cuba, including the Cordillera del Escambray near Zaza, have been continuously subaerial since the latter part of the late Eocene. Although no land vertebrate fossils of this age are known from Cuba, recent discoveries elsewhere in the Greater Antilles indicate that land vertebrates could have colonized landmasses in the Caribbean Basin as early as 33-36 Ma. Recently, marine geological data have been interpreted as showing that (1) the Mona Passage began to form in the early Oligocene, and (2) the Puerto Rico/Virgin Island block was entirely transgressed by shallow marine environments during the period between the late Oligocene and the early Pliocene. However, the seismic reflection profile evidence for an early Oligocene opening of the passage is ambiguous. Even if the separation of Puerto Rico and eastern Hispaniola occurred relatively early, it remains more probable than not that this happened in the medial Oligocene or even somewhat later (i.e., [< or =]30 Ma). On the other hand, the evidence is not at all ambiguous concerning the hypothesized mid-Cenozoic inundation of Puerto Rico: it did not happen. When available land and marine indicators are adequately compared, apparent contradictions in datasets can be evaluated and resolved. When examined in this way, the preponderance of evidence supports the contention that Puerto Rico has been an emergent landmass and has supported terrestrial environments continuously since the latest Eocene"--P. [1]-2. en_US
dc.format.extent 3347265 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language eng en_US
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher New York, NY : American Museum of Natural History en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries American Museum novitates ; no.3394 en_US
dc.subject.lcc QL1 .A436 no.3394, 2003 en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Mammals, Fossil -- Cuba -- Sancti Spíritus (Province) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Domo de Zaza (Sancti Spíritus, Cuba) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Paleontology -- Miocene -- Cuba -- Sancti Spíritus (Province) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Paleontology -- Cuba -- Sancti Spíritus (Province) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Vertebrates, Fossil -- Cuba -- Sancti Spíritus (Province) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Paleogeography -- Tertiary -- Puerto Rico. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Paleogeography -- Puerto Rico. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Plate tectonics -- Caribbean Area. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Geology, Stratigraphic -- Tertiary -- Puerto Rico. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Geology, Structural -- Puerto Rico. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Paleobiogeography -- Caribbean Area. en_US
dc.title Domo de Zaza, an early Miocene vertebrate locality in south-central Cuba : with notes on the tectonic evolution of Puerto Rico and the Mona Passage. American Museum novitates ; no.3394 en_US
dc.title.alternative Notes on the tectonic evolution of Puerto Rico and the Mona Passage en_US
dc.title.alternative Cuban Miocene vertebrates en_US
dc.type text en_US

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  • American Museum Novitates
    Novitates (Latin for "new acquaintances"), published continuously and numbered consecutively since 1921, are short papers that contain descriptions of new forms and reports in zoology, paleontology, and geology. New numbers are published at irregular intervals.

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