Paleontological, geomorphological and sedimentological investigations on the Cangahua Formation in the Interandean depression of Northern and Centrai Ecuador have provided information on the evolution of the Andean paleoenvironment during the Late Pleistocene. Pyroclastic and windblown sediments were deposited during cold and dry phases ofthe last glaciation, interrupted many times by the development offorest-steppe and steppe paleosoils during interstadials. An erosional phase which closed the Cangahua sedimentation was followed by the deposition of colluvial sediments, characterized by a high number of minor pedogenetic episodes. The colluviums are confidently referable to the Holocene. The upper part of the Cangahua Formation is rich in mammal fossils and is probably referable to the Last Glacial Maximum. The fossiliferous sequences suggest that mastodonts disappeared before mylodonts and equids. We hypothesize that the increased cold and aridity of the Last Glacial Maximum, which deeply affected the Cordillera, caused the extinction of most of the megafauna and the mastodonts seem to have been the most sensitive to the environmental degradation. The final history of South American mastodonts, represented by Hap/omastodon and Stegomastodon, spans the latest Pleistocene and probably the earliest Holocene. Hap!omastodon was dispersed in the highlands within the tropical belt and Stegomastodon in plains of the southernmost part of Brazil, in Paraguay, Uraguay, Argentine, centraI and northern Chile. Both Hal'!omastodon and Stegomastodon suffered the same negative effects of the Last Glacial Maximum when their habitats underwent intense desertifications under dry and cold conditions. They disappeared in a mosaic way in the course of the latest Pleistocene, the last representatives probably surviving in favorable restricted areas where however the considerably increased selective pressure was in the long run devastating. In our opinion the human impact was not a determinant in causing mastodont extinction

Hypotheses on the cause of extinction of the South American mastodonts / G. Ficcarelli; A. Azzaroli; A. Bertini; M. Coltorti; P. Mazza; C. Mezzabotta; M. Moreno Espinosa; L. Rook; D. Torre. - In: JOURNAL OF SOUTH AMERICAN EARTH SCIENCES. - ISSN 0895-9811. - STAMPA. - 10:(1997), pp. 29-38. [10.1016/S0895-9811(97)00003-5]

Hypotheses on the cause of extinction of the South American mastodonts.

FICCARELLI, GIOVANNI;AZZAROLI, AUGUSTO;BERTINI, ADELE;MAZZA, PAUL;ROOK, LORENZO;TORRE, DANILO
1997

Abstract

Paleontological, geomorphological and sedimentological investigations on the Cangahua Formation in the Interandean depression of Northern and Centrai Ecuador have provided information on the evolution of the Andean paleoenvironment during the Late Pleistocene. Pyroclastic and windblown sediments were deposited during cold and dry phases ofthe last glaciation, interrupted many times by the development offorest-steppe and steppe paleosoils during interstadials. An erosional phase which closed the Cangahua sedimentation was followed by the deposition of colluvial sediments, characterized by a high number of minor pedogenetic episodes. The colluviums are confidently referable to the Holocene. The upper part of the Cangahua Formation is rich in mammal fossils and is probably referable to the Last Glacial Maximum. The fossiliferous sequences suggest that mastodonts disappeared before mylodonts and equids. We hypothesize that the increased cold and aridity of the Last Glacial Maximum, which deeply affected the Cordillera, caused the extinction of most of the megafauna and the mastodonts seem to have been the most sensitive to the environmental degradation. The final history of South American mastodonts, represented by Hap/omastodon and Stegomastodon, spans the latest Pleistocene and probably the earliest Holocene. Hap!omastodon was dispersed in the highlands within the tropical belt and Stegomastodon in plains of the southernmost part of Brazil, in Paraguay, Uraguay, Argentine, centraI and northern Chile. Both Hal'!omastodon and Stegomastodon suffered the same negative effects of the Last Glacial Maximum when their habitats underwent intense desertifications under dry and cold conditions. They disappeared in a mosaic way in the course of the latest Pleistocene, the last representatives probably surviving in favorable restricted areas where however the considerably increased selective pressure was in the long run devastating. In our opinion the human impact was not a determinant in causing mastodont extinction
1997
10
29
38
G. Ficcarelli; A. Azzaroli; A. Bertini; M. Coltorti; P. Mazza; C. Mezzabotta; M. Moreno Espinosa; L. Rook; D. Torre
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Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/503865
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