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Pleistocene/Holocene - Dusicyon: A Canid

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  • Neal Robbins
            Dusicyon australis is an extinct canid species. The systematic paleontology of it is:   Mammalia Linnaeus 1758 Carnivora Bowditch 1821 Caniformia
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2009
       
       
          Dusicyon australis is an extinct canid species. The systematic paleontology of it is:
       
      Mammalia Linnaeus 1758
      Carnivora Bowditch 1821
      Caniformia Kretzoi 1943
      Canidae de Waldheim 1817
      Dusicyon Hamilton-Smith 1839
      Dusicyon australis
      [Note - Darwin originally named it Canis antarcticus in 1833. In 1914 Oldfield Thomas put it in the Dusicyon genus.]
       
          Fossils and subfossils on Dusicyon australis have been found on the Falkland Islands near Argentina. This species became extinct in 1876. It has been called the "Falklands Wolf" or the "Falklands Fox". However, it was neither a wolf nor a fox.
          The length of this canid was about 1.25-1.6 m. (4-5 feet). Its height was about 20 cm. (2 feet). Dusicyon australis had a coloration that was mostly tawny, though there were some black spots. The tail was white. It was reported to have sometimes lived in burrows. The diet of Dusicyon australis very likely included birds (for example, penguins and geese) and invertebrates, such as insects, grubs, etc. It may have scavenged dead fish and other marine creatures that washed up on the beaches.
           Dusicyon avus is another species of this genus. Fossils and subfossils of it have been discovered in South America. For example, Pleistocene fossil remains were unearthed in the Lujan Formation (Guerrero Member) at Paso Otero-Pardo in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. They are dated to the Lujanian interval (800,000 - 11,000 years ago). [Note - The source of this information is The Paleobiology Database.] Late Pleistocene remains were found at Cueva las Buitreras in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. They are dated to a late Pleistocene interval of 126,000 - 11,000 years ago. Fossils dating to this span have been excavated at Mostardas (Sistema Laguna-Barreiba Local Bed III) in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Others of this interval were discovered at Cueva del Mylodon, Level C, in Chile.
          This publication is a reference:
       
      R.L. Carroll. 1988. Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution. W.H. Freeman and Co. New York.
         
          Neal Robbins

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