The tropical region of South America has been long perceived as a hotspot of biodiversity. Many groups of organisms have their greatest diversity in tropical latitudes. Although the position of continents and temperatures in what is today the northern Neotropics has certainly changed across geological time, this region is the likely place of origin of several vertebrate groups. However, most of what we know about vertebrate evolution in South America comes from high latitude regions, south of the tropics. This book will help to address that imbalance.
Urumaco and Venezuelan Paleontology represents a synthesis of the paleontological record of Venezuela, summarizing the most important areas and issues and including new discoveries on stratigraphy, paleobotany, fossil invertebrates and vertebrates. Besides providing a critical summary of the record of groups including decapods, fishes, crocodiles, turtles, rodents, armadillos and ungulates, several chapters introduce new information on distribution and paleobiology of groups not previously studied in this part of the world.
Given its position in the northern neotropics, close to the Panamanian land bridge, Venezuela is a key location for understanding faunal exchanges between the Americas in the recent geological past. The book reviews the recent paleobotanical and vertebrate fossil record of the region, provides an understanding of Pleistocene climatic change and biogeography for the last few thousand years, and integrates new information with summaries of many works about Venezuelan geology and paleontology published in Spanish.