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First record ofProcyon cancrivorus(G. Cuvier, 1798) (Carnivora, Procyonidae) in stratigraphic context in the Late Pleistocene of Brazil

Journal of South American Earth Sciences
DOI: 10.1016/j.jsames.2013.01.004
  • Late Pleistocene
  • South America
  • Procyonidae
  • Procyon Cancrivorus
  • Brazil
  • Tocantins
  • Earth Science
  • Mathematics


Abstract Although five genera of procyonids are currently present in South America, only two of the extant genera, Procyon and Nasua are represented in the South American fossil record. A recent discovery of a procyonid lower second molar in Late Pleistocene deposits of Aurora do Tocantins, northern Brazil, offers potential to further our understanding of the stratigraphic and temporal range of South American fossil procyonids. We use geometric morphometric analysis of two-dimensional landmarks and semilandmarks to explore morphological variation in the lower second molars of extant Procyon lotor and Procyon cancrivorus and multivariate methods to support the identification of the Pleistocene specimen as P. cancrivorus. This material represents the second fossil record of P. cancrivorus in South America Procyonids entered South America in two phases: the first comprising by Cyonasua and Chapadmalania during the Late Miocene, and the other recent genera, beginning in the Late Pleistocene. These Late Miocene procyonids were more carnivorous than Late Pleistocene-Recent omnivorous taxa and possible went extinct due to competition with other placental carnivorans that entered South America and diversified during the latest Pliocene-Early Pleistocene.

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