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Urumaco and Venezuelan Paleontology offers a synthesis of the paleontological record of Venezuela, including new discoveries on stratigraphy, paleobotany, fossil invertebrates and vertebrates. Besides providing a critical summary of the record of decapods, fishes, crocodiles, turtles, rodents, armadillos and ungulates, several chapters introduce new information on the distribution and paleobiology of groups not previously studied in this part of the world.
Given its position in the northern neotropics, close to the Panamanian land bridge, Venezuela is a key location for understanding faunal exchanges between the Americas in the recent geological past. Urumaco and Venezuelan Paleontology reviews the recent paleobotanical and vertebrate fossil record of the region, provides an understanding of Pleistocene climatic change and biogeography for the last few thousand years, and integrates new information with summaries of Spanish language works on Venezuelan geology and paleontology.
List of Contributors
1. Venezuelan Geography and Biodiversity: A Brief Introduction / Cathy Villalba and Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra
2. A Short History of the Study of Venezuelan Vertebrate Fossils / Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra
3. The Fossil Vertebrate Record of Venezuela of the Last 65 Million Years / Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra, Orangel A. Aguilera, Rodolfo Sánchez, and Alfredo A. Carlini
4. Paleoenvironmental Trends in Venezuela during the Last Glacial Cycle / Valentí Rull, Mark B. Abbott, Teresa Vegas-Vilarrúbia, Maximiliano Bezada, Encarni Montoya, Sandra Nogué, and Catalina González
5. The Guayana Highlands as a Natural Laboratory for the Biogeographical and Evolutionary Study of the Neotropical Flora / Valentí Rull
6. Mesozoic and Cenozoic Decapod Crustaceans from Venezuela and Related Trace-Fossil Assemblages / Orangel A. Aguilera, Dione Rodrigues de Aguilera, Francisco J. Vega, and Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra
7. Venezuelan Caribbean and Orinocoan Neogene Fish / Orangel A. Aguilera and John Lundberg
8. Stratigraphy and Sedimentary Environments of Miocene Shallow to Marginal Marine Deposits in the Urumaco Trough, Falcón Basin, Western Venezuela / Luis I. Quiroz and Carlos A. Jaramillo
9. Fossil Turtles from the Northern Neotropics: The Urumaco Sequence Fauna and Finds from Other Localities in Venezuela and Colombia / Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra and Torsten M. Scheyer
10. Fossil Crocodylians from Venezuela in the Context of South American Faunas / Torsten M. Scheyer and Jorge W. Moreno-Bernal
11. Fossil Rodents from the Late Miocene Urumaco and Middle Miocene Cumaca Formations, Venezuela / Inés Horovitz, Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra, M. Guiomar Vucetich, and Orangel A. Aguilera
12. An Introduction to Cingulate Evolution and Their Evolutionary History during the Great American Biotic Interchange: Biogeographical Clues from Venezuela / Alfredo A. Carlini and Alfredo E. Zurita
13. The South American Native Ungulates of the Urumaco Formation / Mariano Bond and Javier N. Gelfo
Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra is Assistant Professor of Paleontology at the University of Zürich. Orangel A. Aguilera is Professor Emeritus at the Universidad Francisco de Miranda in Coro. Alfredo A. Carlini is a researcher at the Argentinean Research Council (CONICET) and a faculty member of the Universidad de La Plata in Argentina.
"This book will be interesting for everyone who explores palaeontology, stratigraphy, palaeogeography, general geology, and biogeography of the northern part of South America."
– Zentralblatt fur Geologie und Palaontologies, 2011
"Overall, Urumaco and Venezuelan Paleontology is an excellent synthesis and overview of Venezuelan palaeontology, aimed primarily at vertebrate palaeontologists, but providing information that will benefit other areas of research too."
– Newsletter Palaeontology Dept., Natural History Museum, London
"[T]his worthwhile edited volume is a must for any scholar of South American vertebrates, fossil or modern."
– The Quarterly Review of Biology
"This volume is a necessary and important contribution to our understanding of a diverse fossil assemblage from a region of the world that is sorely in need of further paleontological investigation."
– Journal of Mammalian Evolution