Horned Armadillos and Rafting Monkeys

Horned Armadillos and Rafting Monkeys

The Fascinating Fossil Mammals of South America
Darin A. Croft, illustrated by Velizar Simeonovski
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 08/29/2016
Format: Hardback 197 color illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-02084-0
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Gold Medal, Science, 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards

South America is home to some of the most distinctive mammals on Earth—giant armadillos, tiny anteaters, the world’s largest rodent, and its smallest deer. But the continent once supported a variety of other equally intriguing mammals that have no close living relatives: armored mammals with tail clubs, saber-toothed marsupials, and even a swimming sloth. We know of the existence of these peculiar species thanks to South America’s rich fossil record, which provides many glimpses of prehistoric mammals and the ecosystems in which they lived. Organized as a "walk through time" and featuring species from 15 important fossil sites, this book is the most extensive and richly illustrated volume devoted exclusively to the Cenozoic mammals of South America. The text is supported by 75 life reconstructions of extinct species in their native habitats, as well as photographs of fossil specimens and the sites highlighted in the book. An annotated bibliography is included for those interested in delving into the scientific literature.

Author Bio

Darin A. Croft is Associate Professor of Anatomy at Case Western Reserve University and a research associate at several museums, including the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. He is an authority on the extinct mammals of South America and has active field programs in the Andes of Chile and Bolivia.

Velizar Simeonovski is an artist based in Chicago who specializes in life reconstructions of extinct species and visualizations of ancient landscapes. His works have been featured in scientific journals and magazines, in the book Extinct Madagascar: Picturing the Island's Past, and in museum exhibits in the US and in his home country of Bulgaria.


“Well-written and easy for the nonspecialist to understand, this is also a most needed updating of this subject, much in the line of classic works such as Simpson's The Beginning of the Age of Mammals in South America and Patterson and Pascual's The Fossil Mammal Fauna of South America.”
 — Richard Fariña, coauthor Megafauna: Giant Beasts of Pleistocene South America

“Organized as a “walk through time”, this richly illustrated book is devoted to the Cenozoic mammals of South America—giant armadillos, tiny anteaters, the world’s largest rodent, and its smallest deer, among others.”

“Organized as a 'walk through time' and featuring species from 15 important fossil sites, this book is the most extensive and richly illustrated volume devoted exclusively to the Cenozoic mammals of South America.”
 — BirdBooker Report

“This handsome book, written by a leading expert in South American paleontology, is profusely illustrated with maps, time charts, color photographs of fossils, and exquisite life reconstructions. The book is accessible to the general reader, and it will appeal to any individual, young and old alike, interested in the fossil record, as well as to students and scholars of paleontology who work in other parts of the globe.”
 — Choice

“An expert in fossil mammals from South America, this is Croft’s magnum opus on his life’s passion.”
 — Twilight Beasts

“"Given the wealth of unfamiliar animals the volume presents, even readers well versed in vertebrate biodiversity will find it rewarding."”
 — The Quarterly Review of Biology

“"It is by far the best and most satisfying book-sized work that looks at South America’s extinct fauna so far, and it is unique in its depth of coverage and quality of content. I encourage you to get hold of a copy yourself."”
 — Scientific American Blog Network

“"All these considerations make this book a great source of information for the non-specialist, and a nice summary for those researchers looking for a synthesis of Cenozoic South American fossil sites."”
 — J Mammal Evol

    "Horned Armadillos and Rafting Monkeys is an excellent work that will be of interest to anyone that appreciates the extraordinary world of extinct and living mammals, extinction processes, and the loss of biodiversity, and the unique natural history of South America. The combination of scientific information and vivid paleoart reconstructions makes this book a valuable source for an appreciation of these ancient beasts and the ecosystems in which they lived."”
     — Oxford University Press Journals

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    Table of Contents

    1. Time and Geography
    2. Introduction to Mammals
    Part I. Early South American Phase and the Trans-Atlantic Dispersal Interval (TADI)
    3. Tiupampa, Bolivia
    3.1 Pucadelphys andinus
    3.2 Mayulestes ferox
    3.3 Molinodus suarezi
    3.4 Alcidedorbignya inopinata
    4. Itaboraí, Brazil
    4.1 Epidolops ameghinoi
    4.2 Colbertia magellanica
    4.3 Protolipterna ellipsodontoides
    4.4 Carodnia vieirai
    5. Gran Barranca, Argentina
    5.1 Sebecus icaeorhinus
    5.2 Niolamia argentina and Caroloameghinia mater
    5.3 Utaetus buccatus
    5.4 Thomashuxleya rostrata
    5.5 Notopithecus adapinus
    6. La Gran Hondonada, Argentina
    6.1 Otronia muhlbergi
    6.2 Pseudhyrax eutrachytheroides
    6.3 Puelia plicata
    6.4 Trigonostylops wortmani
    Part II. Late South American Phase
    7. Tinguiririca, Chile
    7.1 Klohnia charrieri
    7.2 Pseudoglyptodon chilensis
    7.3 Andemys termasi
    7.4 Santiagorothia chiliensis
    8. Salla, Bolivia
    8.1 Paraborhyaena boliviana
    8.2 Branisella boliviana
    8.3 Anayatherium fortis
    8.4 Trachytherus alloxus
    8.5 Pyrotherium romeroi
    9. Chucal, Chile
    9.1 Parapropalaehoplophorus septentrionalis
    9.2 Peltephilus ferox
    9.3 Theosodon lallemanti
    9.4 Nesodon imbricatus
    9.5 Altitypotherium chucalensis
    10. Santa Cruz, Argentina
    10.1 Necrolestes patagonensis
    10.2 Borhyaena tuberata
    10.3 Hapalops indifferens
    10.4 Steiromys duplicatus
    10.5 Thoatherium minusculum
    10.6 Interatherium robustum
    11. La Venta, Colombia
    11.1 Neotamandua borealis
    11.2 Cebupithecia sarmientoi
    11.3 Megadolodus molariformis and Purussaurus neivensis
    11.4 Miocochilius anamopodus
    11.5 Granastrapotherium snorki
    12. Quebrada Honda, Bolivia
    12.1 Acyon myctoderos
    12.2 Hondalagus altiplanensis
    12.3 Guiomys unica
    12.4 Hemihegetotherium trilobus
    13. Arroyo Chasicó, Argentina
    13.1 Protomegalonyx chasicoensis

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