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A Brief History of South American Metatherians: Evolutionary Contexts and Intercontinental Dispersals

  • Addresses the biotic and abiotic factors that provide a context for metatherian evolution in South America throughout the Cenozoic Era
  • Discusses the physiological constraints of living marsupials and their implications for the evolution of extinct metatherians
  • Summarizes the paleogeographical context in which dispersal events transpired throughout the Americas, Antarctica, and Australasia

Series: Springer Earth System Sciences

By: Francisco J Goin(Author), Michael O Woodburne(Author), Ana Natalia Zimicz(Author), Gabriel M Martin(Author), Laura Chornogubsky(Author)

237 pages, 35 colour & 22 b/w illustrations, 13 colour tables


Hardback | Oct 2015 | #228611 | ISBN-13: 9789401774185
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £109.99 $140/€123 approx

About this book

A Brief History of South American Metatherians summarizes major aspects of the evolution of South American metatherians (one of two major mammalian clades), including their epistemologic, phylogenetic, biogeographic, faunal, tectonic, paleoclimatic, and metabolic contexts. A brief overview of the evolution of each major South American lineage ("Ameridelphia", Sparassodonta, Didelphimorphia, Paucituberculata, Microbiotheria, and Polydolopimorphia) is provided. It is argued that due to physiological constraints, metatherian evolution closely followed the conditions imposed by global temperatures. In general terms, during the Paleocene and the early Eocene multiple radiations of metatherian lineages occurred, with many adaptive types exploiting insectivorous, frugivorous, and omnivorous adaptive zones. In turn, a mixture of generalized and specialized types, the latter mainly exploiting carnivorous and granivorous-folivorous adaptive zones, characterized the second half of the Cenozoic. In both periods, climate was the critical driver of their radiation and turnovers.


1. Introduction
2. South American Living Metatherians: Physiological Ecology and Constraints
3. Dispersal of Vertebrates from between the Americas, Antarctica, and Australia in the Late Cretaceous and Early Cenozoic
4. Evolutionary Contexts
5. Phylogeny and Diversity of South American Metatherians
6. Paleobiology and Adaptations of Paleogene Metatherians
7. Milestones in the Evolution of South American Metatherians

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