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Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências

Print version ISSN 0001-3765

Abstract

NOVA, Patricia Villa; AVILLA, Leonardo S.  and  OLIVEIRA, Édison V.. Didelphidae marsupials (Mammalia, Didelphimorphia) from the Late Pleistocene deposit of the Gruta dos Moura Cave, northern Brazil. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2015, vol.87, n.1, pp.193-208. ISSN 0001-3765.  https://doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201520140229.

The present study acknowledges the diversity of fossil marsupials from the Gruta dos Moura cave, as well as environmental and climatic aspects during the Quaternary. The results show that this is the largest diversity of Pleistocene marsupials recorded in a single cave: Didelphis albiventris, D. aurita, Gracilinanus agilis, G. microtarsus, Marmosa murina, Monodelphis brevicaudata, M. domesticaand Sairadelphys tocantinensis. Furthermore, the described specimens are also part of the only fossil assemblage unequivocally referable to the late Pleistocene. Paleontological studies suggest an intimate association with dry and open environments with high abundance of water sources. Since most of the identified taxa are characteristic of open forests and gallery forests, this could represent the actual environment around the Gruta dos Moura cave. Recent studies identified sympatric occurrences between species from open and dry environments and species from humid forests that were identified among our material and are characteristic of humid regions. Therefore, these species could inhabit gallery forests and capons, or even ecotones, inside a dry and open environment. Moreover, the extinction of Sairadelphyscould also indicate that the climatic and environmental conditions changed or that the past environment was more heterogeneous than the current environment of the region.

Keywords : mammals; Didelphidae; marsupials; Northern Brazil; Quaternary; Late Pleistocene.

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