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The southernmost fossil record of Squamates

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Squamates form a substantial part of the present-day South American herpetofauna, and their fossils constitute an indispensable evidence for understanding the origin and evolution of the main taxa. Squamates are relatively common in Miocene localities of Patagonia, especially in levels of the late early Miocene Santa Cruz Formation. In this contribution, remains of the three species of the extinct iguanid Erichosaurus Ameghino 1899 (E. diminutus, E. bombimaxilla and E. debilis) are redescribed, and new squamate specimens are reported for first time. The genus Erichosaurus is considered invalid. Erichosaurus debilis, E. diminutus and a new specimen are recognized as indeterminate species of the extant polichrotine Pristidactylus, whereas E. bombimaxilla remains as an indeterminate iguanid. Snakes are represented by an indeterminate colubrid. All these specimens, together with a tupinambine teiid previously described for the same formation, represent the southernmost fossil record of squamates in South America and indicate the occurrence of the iguanid Pristidactylus, the teiid Tupinambis and the colubrid snakes south to their present distribution as back as during the early Miocene.

Affiliations: 1: 1Departamento de Biología, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata-CONICET, Funes 3250, B7602AYJ Mar del Plata, Argentina ; 2: 2División Paleontología Vertebrados, Unidades de Investigación Anexo Museo, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo, Calle 60 y 122, B1900AVW La Plata, Argentina

*Corresponding author; e-mail: aalbino@mdp.edu.ar
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2017-02-15
2018-07-18

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