Paleontology and geochronology of the Deseadan ‪(‬late Oligocene‪)‬ of Moquegua, Perú. (American Museum novitates, no. 3668)

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New York, NY : American Museum of Natural History.
Subsequent to our initial reports of the discovery of Deseadan fossils in southern Perú, we have obtained new data regarding the paleontology and geology of the upper member of the Moquegua Formation. These data include newly recovered fossil specimens and further analyses of those collected in our earlier field seasons. We have also obtained an ash directly from within the fossil-bearing units near the summit of Cerro Pan de Azúcar. Biotites from this Sugarloaf ash give an age estimate of 26.25 ± 0.10 Ma, thus supporting our previous suggestion that these fossil-bearing horizons are of late Oligocene age ‪(‬Deseadan South American Land Mammal Age‪)‬ and removing our query regarding a possible early Miocene age. Most of the fossils are of notoungulates and most of these are trachytheriine mesotheriids. Remarkably, three distinct mesotheriid taxa appear to have been present in the Moquegua fauna, none of which are referable to the common Trachytherus alloxus of the nearby and at least partly contemporaneous Salla beds of Bolivia. Other fossils documented here include postcranial elements of the notohippid notoungulate, Moqueguahippus, a macraucheniid litoptern ‪(‬cf. Coniopternium‪)‬, an osteoderm of an unnamed species of armadillo ‪(‬Dasypodidae, cf. Dasypodinae‪)‬, and a claw of a phorusrhacid bird. We also describe a diminutive new hystricognath rodent, Sallamys quispea, sp. nov. It is similar to, but distinct from, S. pascuali of Salla. Indeed, despite the temporal and geographic proximity of Moquegua to Salla, none of the taxa from Moquegua that can be identified to species are known from Salla. Likewise, we have failed to find any dasypodids from Salla that have osteoderms like that described in this work. Thus, it is appears that distinctive paleogeographic and paleoenvironmental conditions in the late Oligocene led to a regional biotic differentiation for the Moquegua area of coastal Perú.
24 p. : ill., maps ; 26 cm. "November 30, 2009." Includes bibliographical references (p. 22-24).
Fossils., Oligocene., Moquegua Formation., Peru, Geology.