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First discovery of monotremes in South America

Nature volume 356, pages 704706 (23 April 1992) | Download Citation

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Abstract

UNTIL now, the egg-laying monotremes were only known from the Australian continent, where they have lived since the early Cretaceous period to the present1. Here we report the first monotreme from outside the Australian continent, an ornithorhyn-chid, from sediments of late early Palaeocene age in Patagonia, southern Argentina. This discovery demonstrates the Gondwanan nature of monotremes and supports the hypothesis that the Patagonian Terrane of southern South America had a biotic history distinct from that of the rest of the continent.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Departamento Cientifico Paleontologia Vertebrados, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Paseo del Bosque, 1900 La Plata, Argentina

    • Rosendo Pascual
    • , Edgardo Ortiz Jaureguizar
    •  & José L. Prado
  2. School of Biological Science, University of New South Wales, PO Box 1, Kensington, New South Wales 2033, Australia

    • Michael Archer
    • , Henk Godthelp
    •  & Suzanne J. Hand

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https://doi.org/10.1038/356704a0

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