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TWO NEW RECORDS OF GOMPHOTHERIIDAE (MAMMALIA: PROBOSCIDEA) IN SOUTHERN MÉXICO AND SOME BIOGEOGRAPHIC IMPLICATIONS

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The Paleontological Society
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Abstract

Abstract Two new records of gomphotheriid proboscideans, one identified as Rhynchotherium and the other as Cuvieronius, are reported in México. Both records are in the southwesternmost points of their known distributional range. The remains of both genera consist of molars and tusks. Their measurements were compared with data available from the literature and collection specimens. The molar index of Rhynchotherium shows statistical differences between m2 and M2, and m3 and M3. However, differences between the m3 from both genera are not statistically significant, despite slight morphological differences. This suggests that metric and morphological information should be included for a reliable identification of isolated molars and, if available, any other data of the associated tusk. All known records relating to both genera suggest that they found southwestern México favorable for use as a dispersal corridor to South America, likely due to the region's tropical or subtropical climate. However, some distributional gaps in central México need to be resolved for Rhynchotherium. There are also important populations of Cuvieronius in central México, and preliminary information suggests that they occupied at least parts of eastern México, as well.

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