Books  Palaeontology  Palaeozoology & Extinctions 

Horned Armadillos and Rafting Monkeys: The Fascinating Fossil Mammals of South America

Series: Life of the Past

By: Darin A Croft(Author), Velizar Simeonovski(Illustrator)

307 pages, 197 colour photos and colour & b/w illustrations

Indiana University Press

Hardback | Sep 2016 | #227757 | ISBN-13: 9780253020840
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £40.99 $53/€45 approx

About this book

South America is home to some of the most distinctive mammals on Earth: giant armadillos, tiny anteaters, the world's largest rodent, and its smallest deer. But the continent once supported a variety of other equally intriguing mammals that have no close living relatives: armored mammals with tail clubs, saber-toothed marsupials, and even a swimming sloth. We know of the existence of these peculiar species thanks to South America's rich fossil record, which provides many glimpses of prehistoric mammals and the ecosystems in which they lived. Organized as a "walk through time" and featuring species from 15 important fossil sites, Horned Armadillos and Rafting Monkeys is the most extensive and richly illustrated volume devoted exclusively to the Cenozoic mammals of South America. The text is supported by 75 life reconstructions of extinct species in their native habitats, as well as photographs of fossil specimens and the sites highlighted in Horned Armadillos and Rafting Monkeys. An annotated bibliography is included for those interested in delving into the scientific literature.

"Well-written and easy for the nonspecialist to understand, this is also a most needed updating of this subject, much in the line of classic works such as Simpson's The Beginning of the Age of Mammals in South America and Patterson and Pascual's The Fossil Mammal Fauna of South America."
– Richard Fariña, coauthor Megafauna: Giant Beasts of Pleistocene South America



1. Time and Geography

2. Introduction to Mammals

Part I. Early South American Phase and the Trans-Atlantic Dispersal Interval (TADI)

3. Tiupampa, Bolivia
3.1 Pucadelphys andinus
3.2 Mayulestes ferox
3.3 Molinodus suarezi
3.4 Alcidedorbignya inopinata

4. Itaboraí, Brazil
4.1 Epidolops ameghinoi
4.2 Colbertia magellanica
4.3 Protolipterna ellipsodontoides
4.4 Carodnia vieirai

5. Gran Barranca, Argentina
5.1 Sebecus icaeorhinus
5.2 Niolamia argentina and Caroloameghinia mater
5.3 Utaetus buccatus
5.4 Thomashuxleya rostrata
5.5 Notopithecus adapinus

6. La Gran Hondonada, Argentina
6.1 Otronia muhlbergi
6.2 Pseudhyrax eutrachytheroides
6.3 Puelia plicata
6.4 Trigonostylops wortmani

Part II. Late South American Phase

7. Tinguiririca, Chile
7.1 Klohnia charrieri
7.2 Pseudoglyptodon chilensis
7.3 Andemys termasi
7.4 Santiagorothia chiliensis

8. Salla, Bolivia
8.1 Paraborhyaena boliviana
8.2 Branisella boliviana
8.3 Anayatherium fortis
8.4 Trachytherus alloxus
8.5 Pyrotherium romeroi

9. Chucal, Chile
9.1 Parapropalaehoplophorus septentrionalis
9.2 Peltephilus ferox
9.3 Theosodon lallemanti
9.4 Nesodon imbricatus
9.5 Altitypotherium chucalensis

10. Santa Cruz, Argentina
10.1 Necrolestes patagonensis
10.2 Borhyaena tuberata
10.3 Hapalops indifferens
10.4 Steiromys duplicatus
10.5 Thoatherium minusculum
10.6 Interatherium robustum

11. La Venta, Colombia
11.1 Neotamandua borealis
11.2 Cebupithecia sarmientoi
11.3 Megadolodus molariformis and Purussaurus neivensis
11.4 Miocochilius anamopodus
11.5 Granastrapotherium snorki

12. Quebrada Honda, Bolivia
12.1 Acyon myctoderos
12.2 Hondalagus altiplanensis
12.3 Guiomys unica
12.4 Hemihegetotherium trilobus

13. Arroyo Chasicó, Argentina
13.1 Protomegalonyx chasicoensis
13.2 Prolagostomus and Lycopsis viverensis
13.3 Neobrachytherium ullumense
13.4 Chasicotherium rothi
13.5 Typotheriopsis chasicoensis

Part III. The Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI) and the Interamerican Phase

14. Acre, Brazil
14.1 Neoglyptatelus originalis
14.2 Thalassocnus natans
14.3 Phoberomys burmeisteri
14.4 Trigodon

15. Catamarca, Argentina
15.1 Andalgalornis steulleti
15.2 Thylacosmilus atrox
15.3 Vassallia maxima and Argentavis magnificens
15.4 Pronothrotherium typicum
15.5 Cyonasua brevirostris

16. Chapadmalal, Argentina
16.1 Sparassocynus derivatus
16.2 Macroeuphractus outesi
16.3 Scelidotherium parodii
16.4 Platygonus marplatensis
16.5 Paedotherium typicum

17. Tarija, Bolivia
17.1 Cuvieronius hyodon
17.2 Glyptodon reticulatus
17.3 Doedicurus clavicaudatus
17.4 Megatherium americanum
17.5 Protocyon tarijensis and Glossotherium tarijense
17.6 Smilodon populator
17.7 Onohippidium devillei
17.8 Macrauchenia patachonica
17.9 Toxodon platensis

Further Reading

Appendix 1. Alphabetical List of Species
Appendix 2. List of Families and Higher Taxonomic Groups
Appendix 3. Mammals of Tiupampa, Bolivia
Appendix 4. Mammals of Itaboraí, Brazil
Appendix 5. Middle Eocene (“Barrancan”) Mammals of Gran Barranca, Argentina
Appendix 6. Mammals of La Gran Hondonada, Argentina
Appendix 7. Mammals of Tinguiririca, Chile
Appendix 8. Mammals of Salla, Bolivia
Appendix 9. Mammals of Chucal, Chile
Appendix 10. Mammals of Costal Santa Cruz, Argentina
Appendix 11. Mammals of La Venta, Colombia
Appendix 12. Mammals of Quebrada Honda, Bolivia
Appendix 13. Mammals of Arroyo Chasicó, Argentina
Appendix 14. Mammals of Acre (Brazil and Peru)
Appendix 15. Mammals of Catamarca, Argentina
Appendix 16. Mammals of Chapadmalal, Argentina
Appendix 17. Mammals of Tarija, Bolivia


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Darin A. Croft is Associate Professor of Anatomy at Case Western Reserve University and a research associate at several museums including the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. He is an authority on the extinct mammals of South America and has active field programs in the Andes of Chile and Bolivia.

Velizar Simeonovski is an artist based in Chicago who specializes in life reconstructions of extinct species and visualizations of ancient landscapes. His works have been featured in scientific journals and magazines, in the book Extinct Madagascar: Picturing the Island's Past, and in museum exhibits in the US and in his home country of Bulgaria.

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