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Proc Biol Sci. 2008 Apr 22;275(1637):923-8. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2007.1645.

The largest fossil rodent.

Author information

  • 1Museo Nacional de Historia Natural y Antropología, Montevideo 11300, Uruguay. rinderk@adinet.com.uy

Abstract

The discovery of an exceptionally well-preserved skull permits the description of the new South American fossil species of the rodent, Josephoartigasia monesi sp. nov. (family: Dinomyidae; Rodentia: Hystricognathi: Caviomorpha). This species with estimated body mass of nearly 1000kg is the largest yet recorded. The skull sheds new light on the anatomy of the extinct giant rodents of the Dinomyidae, which are known mostly from isolated teeth and incomplete mandible remains. The fossil derives from San José Formation, Uruguay, usually assigned to the Pliocene-Pleistocene (4-2Myr ago), and the proposed palaeoenvironment where this rodent lived was characterized as an estuarine or deltaic system with forest communities.

PMID:
18198140
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2599941
Free PMC Article
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