Eocene land mammals from Seymour Island, Antarctica: palaeobiogeographical implications
Middle Eocene land mammals from La Meseta Formation, Seymour (Marambio) Island are reviewed. A taxonomically diverse fossil land-vertebrate assemblage with small and medium-size mammals has been recovered from four localities. The depositional setting is shallow marine and most of the mammal-bearing beds are in reworked, moderate to high energy subtidal facies. The characteristics of these mammals not only confirm but also strengthen the biogeographical relationships between southern South America (Patagonian Province) and the Antarctic Peninsula during the Paleogene and rule out the possibility of a major barrier between these areas. The Antarctic ungulates (Astrapotheria and ?Litopterna) are plesiomorphics in retaining low crowned cheek teeth and are more similar to those from the Pancasamayoran local faunas of southern South America (Patagonia).(Received August 14 1991)
(Accepted November 15 1993)
Key Words: Eocene; Antarctica; La Meseta Formation; mammals; age; palaeobiogeography.