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Description of the earliest fossil penguin from South America and first Paleogene vertebrate locality of Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina. American Museum novitates ; no. 3423

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dc.contributor.author Clarke, Julia A. en_US
dc.contributor.author Olivero, Eduardo B. en_US
dc.contributor.author Puerta, Pablo. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2005-10-06T16:38:23Z
dc.date.available 2005-10-06T16:38:23Z
dc.date.issued 2003 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2246/2788
dc.description 18 p. : ill., maps ; 26 cm. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 15-17). en_US
dc.description.abstract We report the discovery of the first vertebrate from the Paleogene of Tierra del Fuego (Isla Grande), Argentina, in southernmost South America. The specimen consists of parts of an associated pelvic girdle and limb that are identified as belonging to the penguin stem clade (Aves: Pansphenisciformes). The specimen, from an exposure of the Leticia Formation (late middle Eocene), is the earliest known penguin (pansphenisciform) from South America. It is more than 20 million years older than the earliest previously recorded South American penguins (from the late Oligocene-early Miocene) and, thus, almost doubles their known record on the continent. A detailed description of the new specimen and a discussion of its implications for the understanding of penguin morphological evolution are provided. The new specimen and other fossil penguins do not currently point to the origin of extant, or crown clade, penguin lineages (Spheniscidae), by the Eocene, only to the divergence of the penguin stem lineage from its sister taxon by this time. The new fossil has several morphologies that differ from all extant penguins but are shared with other fossil penguin taxa, suggesting they may be outside Spheniscidae. However, in a discussion of the current status of penguin systematics, we suggest the urgent need for comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of fossil and extant penguins to clarify the timing and pattern of penguin diversification. The specimen was recovered from a newly identified fossil vertebrate locality, an exposure of the Eocene Leticia Formation at Punta Torcida on the Atlantic shore of southeastern Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. The new locality is introduced, and a brief geologic description is made, highlighting the potential of the shallow marine sediments of the Leticia Formation for contributing to our knowledge of the Paleogene vertebrate fossil record of Tierra del Fuego, and of southern South America, generally. en_US
dc.format.extent 1658383 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. 3423 en_US
dc.subject.lcc QL1 .A436 no.3423, 2003 en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Penguins, Fossil -- Great Island (Argentina and Chile) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Penguins, Fossil -- Argentina -- Tierra del Fuego. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Birds, Fossil -- Great Island (Argentina and Chile) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Birds, Fossil -- Argentina -- Tierra del Fuego. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Paleontology -- Eocene -- Great Island (Argentina and Chile) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Paleontology -- Eocene -- Argentina -- Tierra del Fuego. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Paleontology -- Great Island (Argentina and Chile) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Paleontology -- Argentina -- Tierra del Fuego. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Geology, Stratigraphic -- Paleogene -- Great Island (Argentina and Chile) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Geology, Stratigraphic -- Paleogene -- Argentina -- Tierra del Fuego. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Geology -- Great Island (Argentina and Chile) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Geology -- Argentina -- Tierra del Fuego. en_US
dc.title Description of the earliest fossil penguin from South America and first Paleogene vertebrate locality of Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina. American Museum novitates ; no. 3423 en_US
dc.title.alternative Fossil penguin 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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