Capybaras (Rodentia, Hydrochoeridae, Hydrochoerinae) and their bearing in the calibration of the late Miocene-Pliocene sequences of South America.
Deschamps, Cecilia Marcela
Vucetich, María Guiomar
Montalvo, Claudia I.
Fossil capybaras were long regarded as composed of numerous taxa, each one endemic to a particular area, a scenario completely different from the one shown by the living species. The interpretation of the record according to new criteria of ontogenetic change has demonstrated that they are useful for biocorrelation because their members have short biochrons with wide geographic distribution. The levels with capybaras of each locality would represent a short lapse within the bearing lithostratigraphic units. In turn, they would also represent short intervals within the temporal extension proposed for each Stage/ Age or SALMA. All the late MioceneePliocene records of capybaras were analyzed and a chronological scheme was built mainly for Argentina, where records are most abundant. Numerical ages and magnetostratigraphic studies contribute to correlate this scheme with the global time scale. The Chasicoan SALMA would be correlated with part of the Tortonian Stage/Age; the Huayquerian SALMA with the late Tortonian-Messinian, and it could even extend to the earliest Zanclean. The Montehermosan SALMA would be restricted to the Zanclean. The Chapadmalalan SALMA would be correlated with the late Zanclean-early Piacenzian.