Rodolfo M Salas-Gismondi

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The modern giant sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus, one of the largest known predators, preys upon cephalopods at great depths. Lacking a functional upper dentition, it relies on suction for catching its prey; in contrast, several smaller Miocene sperm whales (Physeteroidea) have been interpreted as raptorial (versus suction) feeders, analogous to the(More)
Penguin feathers are highly modified in form and function, but there have been no fossils to inform their evolution. A giant penguin with feathers was recovered from the late Eocene (~36 million years ago) of Peru. The fossil reveals that key feathering features, including undifferentiated primary wing feathers and broad body contour feather shafts, evolved(More)
The hairy long-nosed armadillo, currently referred as Dasypus (Cryptophractus) pilosus, is an enigmatic species endemic to montane cloud forests and subparamo of Peruvian Andes. Its strikingly different external features, which include the carapace concealed by abundant hair, the presence of more movable bands, and a slender skull, have raised questions(More)
The rich fossil record of the family Equidae (Mammalia: Perissodactyla) over the past 55 MY has made it an icon for the patterns and processes of macroevolution. Despite this, many aspects of equid phylogenetic relationships and taxonomy remain unresolved. Recent genetic analyses of extinct equids have revealed unexpected evolutionary patterns and a need(More)
Amazonia contains one of the world's richest biotas, but origins of this diversity remain obscure. Onset of the Amazon River drainage at approximately 10.5 Ma represented a major shift in Neotropical ecosystems, and proto-Amazonian biotas just prior to this pivotal episode are integral to understanding origins of Amazonian biodiversity, yet vertebrate(More)
A new middle Miocene vertebrate fauna from Peruvian Amazonia is described. It yields the marsupials Sipalocyon sp. (Hathliacynidae) and Marmosa (Micoureus) cf. laventica (Didelphidae), as well as an unidentified glyptodontine xenarthran and the rodents Guiomys sp. (Caviidae), “Scleromys” sp., cf. quadrangulatus-schurmanni-colombianus (Dinomyidae), an(More)
The earliest platyrrhines have been documented from the late Oligocene of Bolivia (Salla) and from the early and early middle Miocene of middle and high latitudes (central Chile and Argentinean Patagonia). Recent paleontological field expeditions in Peruvian Amazonia (Atalaya, Cusco; Upper Madre de Dios Basin) have led to the discovery of a new early(More)
The causes of Late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions (60,000 to 11,650 years ago, hereafter 60 to 11.65 ka) remain contentious, with major phases coinciding with both human arrival and climate change around the world. The Americas provide a unique opportunity to disentangle these factors as human colonization took place over a narrow time frame (~15 to(More)
Tertiary insects and arachnids have been virtually unknown from the vast western Amazonian basin. We report here the discovery of amber from this region containing a diverse fossil arthropod fauna (13 hexapod families and 3 arachnid species) and abundant microfossil inclusions (pollen, spores, algae, and cyanophyceae). This unique fossil assemblage,(More)
A state-of-the-art review of the Cenozoic fossil record from Western Amazonia is provided, based on literature and new data (regarding Paleogene native ungulates). It allows summarizing the evolution and dynamics of middle Eocene–Holocene mammalian guilds, at the level of species, families, and orders. Major gaps in the Western Amazonian mammal record occur(More)