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A possible heptaxodontine and other caviidan rodents from the Quaternary of Jamaica. American Museum novitates ; no.3422

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dc.contributor.author MacPhee, R. D. E. en_US
dc.contributor.author Flemming, Clare. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2005-10-06T16:40:34Z
dc.date.available 2005-10-06T16:40:34Z
dc.date.issued 2003 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2246/2851
dc.description 42 p. : ill., map ; 26 cm. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 39-42). en_US
dc.description.abstract New World hystricognath rodents (parvorder Caviida) easily qualify as the most diversified members of the nonvolant Quaternary land mammal fauna of the West Indies. This paper describes three intriguing but problematic representatives of this group from Jamaican cave deposits. The first is the holotype (and still the only) specimen of Alterodon major from Wallingford Roadside Cave, a taxon that continues to generate controversy because specialists disagree as to its placement within Caviida. We reject the argument that it should be placed in Octodontidae and reaffirm the high probability that it is a clidomyine. The second fossil is a large proximal femur, apparently recovered from Sheep Pen locality near Windsor (Trelawney Parish) in the 1960s. Much larger than the femur of Clidomys (previously thought to be Jamaica's largest Quaternary mammal), in size and morphology the new fossil somewhat resembles femora of the eastern Caribbean heptaxodontine Amblyrhiza. Although firm allocation is not possible, the Sheep Pen femur is possibly that of a megafaunal caviidan. The third fossil described in this paper is the jaw of a previously unknown caviidan from a dated end-Pleistocene cave context in Portland Ridge (Jackson's Bay, Clarendon Parish). Xaymaca fulvopulvis, new genus and species, differs from all West Indian caviidan species presently known. The jaw is well preserved but retains only the incisor and premolar (the latter in a very worn state). The few features for which the new species can be usefully analyzed and compared to caviidan groups represented in the West Indian Cenozoic (capromyids, heteropsomyines, heptaxodontines, and clidomyines) are largely indecisive from a systematic perspective. However, on balance the strongest indicators seem to lie with the 'giant' heptaxodontines of the central and eastern Caribbean (the grouping composed of Amblyrhiza, Elasmodontomys, and possibly Quemisia), and despite its diminutive size Xaymaca is tentatively placed within that group. It is increasingly apparent that much still remains to be learned about the origin and history of the land mammal fauna of Jamaica. en_US
dc.format.extent 1792342 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.3422 en_US
dc.subject.lcc QL1 .A436 no.3422, 2003 en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Alterodon major. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Xaymaca fulvopulvis. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Rodents, Fossil -- Jamaica. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Mammals, Fossil -- Jamaica. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Caviidae -- Jamaica. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Paleontology -- Quaternary -- Jamaica. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Paleontology -- Jamaica. en_US
dc.title A possible heptaxodontine and other caviidan rodents from the Quaternary of Jamaica. American Museum novitates ; no.3422 en_US
dc.title.alternative Jamaican fossil rodents 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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