Darin A. Croft

Darin A. Croft
Case Western Reserve University | CWRU · Department of Anatomy

Ph.D.

About

149
Publications
43,285
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3,498
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2017 - July 2017
Case Western Reserve University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (149)
Article
Full-text available
Cranial endocasts are one of the most direct tools available to obtain information about the endocranial cavity of fossil mammals, but few anatomical comparisons have analyzed endocranial data within a phylogenetic framework. Our study combines analyses of new digital endocasts from high-resolution X-ray micro-computed tomography (µCT) for two noto...
Article
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Glyptodonts (Xenarthra, Cingulata) are one of the most amazing Cenozoic South American mammals, with some terminal forms reaching ca. two tons. The Paleogene record of glyptodonts is still poorly known, although some of their diversification is observable in Patagonian Argentina. Since the early and middle Miocene (ca. 19–13 Ma), two large clades c...
Article
The late middle Miocene Quebrada Honda Basin of southern Bolivia has long been studied for its diverse fossils of terrestrial vertebrates and, more recently, for its record of paleoelevation and paleoclimate in the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes Mountains. This paleobiological and paleoenvironmental archive is constrained by high resolution radioi...
Article
We report systematic conclusions based on critical analyses of previous taxon diagnoses and systematic revisions of the Early-Middle Pleistocene mesotheriine notoungulate Mesotherium cristatum Serres 1867, from Buenos Aires province, Argentina. Mesotherium cristatum is a key taxon, as it is the guide species of the Ensenadan Age (Early-Middle Pleis...
Article
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Isolated teeth make up much of the mammalian fossil record. The scientific value of these specimens is maximized when their specific locus can be identified, which permits precise comparisons with more complete specimens. However, identifying tooth locus can be challenging, particularly in metatherians, as these animals have multiple molar loci (M1...
Article
Full-text available
Glyptodonts (Xenarthra, Cingulata) are one of the most amazing Cenozoic South American mammals, with some terminal forms reaching ca. two tons. The Paleogene record of glyptodonts is still poorly known, although some of their diversification is observable in Patagonian Argentina. Since the early and middle Miocene (ca. 19-13 Ma), two large clades c...
Article
Full-text available
The fossil record of chinchillid rodents (Hystricomorpha: Caviomorpha) begins in the early Miocene. However, nearly all remains have thus far been limited to the Lagostominae, which includes the extant plains viscacha (Lagostomus maximus). Here, we describe the first Neogene remains referable to Pan-Chinchillinae (otherwise including extant chinchi...
Conference Paper
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Sparassodonts were the dominant carnivorous mammals in South America for over sixty million years, rapidly evolving from unassuming opossum-like taxa in the Paleocene to massive megafaunal predators by the middle Eocene. However, the early evolutionary history of Sparassodonta, particularly the adaptive radiation of the group during the Eocene, is...
Article
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During the Neogene, many North American ungulates evolved longer limbs. Presumably, this allowed them to move more efficiently or quickly in open habitats, which became more common during this interval. Evidence suggests that open habitats appeared even earlier in South America, but no study to date has investigated whether the ungulate-like mammal...
Article
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The earliest record of North American mammals in South America is significant for constraining the timing of intercontinental faunal interchange. At present, the oldest securely dated remains of a North American terrestrial mammal in South America pertain to a late Miocene procyonid; a few other North American mammal groups are present in late Mioc...
Article
At~3500 m above sea level in the Eastern Andean Cordillera, Quebrada Honda Basin exposes more than 300 m of middle Miocene sedimentary strata, developed on distal alluvial fan sediments interstratified with volcano-clastic deposits, overlying Paleozoic basement. These deposits are rich in exotic vertebrate fauna adapted to a wetter and warmer clima...
Conference Paper
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Quebrada Honda (QH) is among the best-characterized middle Miocene terrestrial vertebrate sites of South America, with >40 spp. (mainly mammals) documented. Our work clarifies its paleoenvironmental and geochronological context. The studied section (~180 m) can be divided into: (1) a lower unit of reddish mudstone and minor sandstone with basal all...
Conference Paper
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Notoungulata, the most diverse group of ungulates present during South America’s Cenozoic isolation, is classically subdivided into Toxodontia and Typotheria. Here we describe a new species of Pleurostylodon (a toxodontian) based on a left hemimandible bearing a complete dentition. ‘Isotemnidae,’ to which Pleurostylodon has long been assigned, is c...
Article
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Thylacosmiline sparassodonts (previously recognized as thylacosmilids) are among the most iconic groups of endemic South American Cenozoic mammals due to their distinctive morphology and convergent resemblance to saber-toothed placental carnivores. However, the early evolution of this group and its relationship to other sparassodonts remains poorly...
Article
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A remarkable diversity of plant-eating mammals known as South American native ungulates (SANUs) flourished in South America for most of the Cenozoic. Although some of these species likely filled ecological niches similar to those of modern hoofed mammals, others differed substantially from extant artiodactyls and perissodactyls in their skull and l...
Article
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The Sparassodonta (Mammalia: Metatheria) were the principal group of carnivorous mammals in Cenozoic South America and an important component of this continent’s terrestrial predator guild for nearly 60 million years. However, knowledge of the evolutionary history of this group is biased towards species larger than 1.5 kg from extra-tropical latitu...
Article
We describe a new interatheriid notoungulate, Juchuysillu arenalesensis gen. et sp. nov., based on six partial upper and lower dentitions from the early to middle Miocene Nazareno Formation of southern Bolivia. A specimen is also referred to J. arenalesensis from the early middle Miocene (Langhian) locality of Cerdas, Bolivia (ca. 100 km to the nor...
Article
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Astrapotheres were a clade of unusual early to middle Cenozoic herbivorous mammals endemic to South America. Neogene astrapotheres were large, tusked mammals that probably had a short proboscis and may have preferred mesic lowland habitats; they were widespread during the early Miocene, became restricted to the tropics during the middle Miocene, an...
Article
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It was once thought that the endemic carnivorous mammals of South America, the metatherian sparassodonts, were driven extinct by North American carnivorans through competitive exclusion. However, sparassodonts went extinct before most groups of carnivorans entered South America; only the endemic Cyonasua-group procyonids (Cyonasua and Chapalmalania...
Article
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Marsupials and their fossil relatives, which collectively comprise Metatheria, have been of scientific interest for centuries, with many aspects of their evolution and systematics subject to intense research and debate. Here, we review progress over the last 25 years, which has included the description of many new species (modern and fossil), and m...
Article
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Sparassodont metatherians were the dominant terrestrial mammalian predators during South America’s long Cenozoic isolation. This group’s early fossil record is very poor, however, particularly for the late Eocene and early Oligocene. Here, we describe a new sparassodont, Chlorocyon phantasma, gen. et sp. nov., based on a specimen from Los Helados,...
Article
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In this contribution, we describe new remains (skull and humeri) of the Megatheriinae Megathericulus patagonicus Ameghino, 1904, recovered from the middle Miocene fossiliferous locality of Quebrada Honda, Bolivia. We also discuss the taxonomic, biogeographical, and chronological relevance of this discovery. Referral of the new specimens described h...
Article
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Here we describe three new notohippid notoungulate species from the early Oligocene-aged Tinguiririca Fauna (Tinguirirican SALMA), recovered from volcaniclastic deposits of the Abanico Formation in the central Chilean Andes, two of which are known from material sufficiently complete to warrant formal naming. These include Eomorphippus bondi, sp. no...
Article
We describe two new macraucheniid litopterns from the late middle Miocene (ca. 13 Ma) Quebrada Honda Fauna of southern Bolivia. The holotype of ‘Theosodon’ arozquetai, sp. nov., is a partial cranium preserving RI2–M3 and LP1–M3, elements of the hind limb, and two metapodials. An upper cheek tooth series is also referred to this species. The holotyp...
Article
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This study investigates whether terrestrial mammalian carnivore guilds of ancient South America, which developed in relative isolation, were similar to those of other continents. We do so through analyses of clade diversification, ecomorphology and guild structure in the Sparassodonta, metatherians that were the predominant mammalian carnivores of...
Chapter
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Paleontologists are increasingly concerned with understanding the biology of extinct species and their environments. This has resulted in a proliferation of new techniques and methodologies that provide a wealth of new data for understanding the paleobiology of extinct species and paleoecological relationships between them and their environment. Ho...
Chapter
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Mesowear and microwear analyses use data from worn tooth surfaces as proxies for feeding ecology. Mesowear is based on gross dental wear and forms over months to years. The method was originally developed for ungulates but has recently been expanded to other groups, at least preliminarily. Dental microwear has been investigated for well over half a...
Chapter
Ancient terrestrial ecosystems cannot be observed directly, but a wide variety of approaches and techniques have been developed that provide indirect evidence of many aspects of ecosystem functioning. By integrating multiple lines of evidence about the climate, vegetational structure, and fauna of a given location at a particular time, a relatively...
Book
This volume focuses on the reconstruction of past ecosystems and provides a comprehensive review of current techniques and their application in exemplar studies. The 18 chapters address a wide variety of topics that span vertebrate paleobiology and paleoecology (body mass, postcranial functional morphology, evolutionary dental morphology, microwear...
Article
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We use paleopedology and ichnology to elucidate the habitat of the late middle Miocene fossil site of Quebrada Honda, southern Bolivia. The paleosols represent three pedotypes, Type 1 and Type 2 paleosols are interpreted as Inceptisols (Eutrudepts) and Entisols (Udifluvents), respectively, which formed on proximal and distal floodplains in a season...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Thylacosmilid sparassodonts are among the most iconic groups of endemic South American Cenozoic mammals due to their distinctive morphology and convergent resemblance to saber-toothed placental carnivorans. However, the early evolution of thylacosmilids and their relationships to other sparassodonts are poorly known, as this group is primarily repr...
Article
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The octodontoid rodent Acarechimys was abundant during the early Miocene and had the widest temporal and geographic distribution of any extinct caviomorph. Despite this extensive fossil record Acarechimys has not been well characterized. In this work, we systematically revise Acarechimys, describe new early–middle Miocene fossils from Argentina and...
Article
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Paucituberculatan marsupials, particularly members of the family Palaeothentidae, were important components of South American mammal communities during much of the Cenozoic. However, after the late early Miocene, palaeothentid remains are rare in the fossil record, and the group is last recorded at late middle Miocene sites in Colombia, Bolivia and...
Conference Paper
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Os Notoungulata incluem a maior parte da diversidade dos grupos de ungulados nativos extintos Sul-Americanos, com mais de 150 gêneros distribuídos em cerca de 14 famílias. No entanto, o grupo é relativamente pouco explorado do ponto de vista filogenético. O presente estudo combina dados de descrições anatômicas prévias e exame direto de espécimes p...
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Book
South America is home to some of the most distinctive mammals on Earth—giant armadillos, tiny anteaters, the world’s largest rodent, and its smallest deer. But the continent once supported a variety of other equally intriguing mammals that have no close living relatives: armored mammals with tail clubs, saber-toothed marsupials, and even a swimming...
Article
Full-text available
Although sexual size dimorphism is an important component of the biology of many living New World metatherians, little is known about sexual dimorphism in extinct members of this group. Here, we describe morphometric variation in two traditionally recognized species of the paucituberculatan Acdestis from the early Miocene Santa Cruz Formation of Pa...
Article
The early middle Miocene (Langhian age) site of Cerdas in the southern Bolivian Altiplano has produced a diverse fauna of extinct mammals (15 species in seven orders and 11 families). In this study, we use paleosols and ichnofossils to reconstruct its paleoenvironment and the conditions in which its fossils were preserved. The described paleosols r...
Article
Full-text available
We provide new and revised identifications of mammals from the early middle Miocene (Langhian age, Colloncuran South American Land Mammal Age [SALMA]) of Cerdas, Bolivia. We also formally name a new typothere notoungulate, Hegetotherium cerdasensis, sp. nov., that can be distinguished by the absence of an external talonid sulcus on m3 and its small...
Article
We provide a synopsis of ~60 million years of life history in Neotropical lowlands, based on a comprehensive survey of the Cenozoic deposits along the Quebra da Cachiyacu near Contamana in Peruvian Amazonia. The 34 fossil-bearing localities identified have yielded a diversity of fossil remains, including vertebrates, mollusks, arthropods, plant fos...
Book
South America is home to some of the most distinctive mammals on Earth-giant armadillos, tiny anteaters, the world’s largest rodent, and its smallest deer. But the continent once supported a variety of other equally intriguing mammals that have no close living relatives: armored mammals with tail clubs, saber-toothed marsupials, and even a swimming...
Article
Full-text available
Here we describe two new notoungulate taxa from early Oligocene deposits of the Abanico Formation in the eastern Tinguiririca valley of the Andes of central Chile, including a notostylopid (gen. et sp. nov.) and three basal toxodontians, cf. Homalodotheriidae, one of which is formally named a new species. The valley's eponymous fossil mammal fauna...
Presentation
Full-text available
Description of two new genera and species of macraucheniid litopterns from Quebrada Honda, Bolivia and brief discussion of implications for macraucheniid evolution