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6 January 2022 Canids (Caninae) from the Past of Venezuela
Damián Ruiz-Ramoni, Xiaoming Wang, Ascanio D. Rincón
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There are three extant species of wild canids in Venezuela: Urocyon cinereoargenteus, Cerdocyon thous, and Speothos venaticus, excluding the feral domestic dog (Canis familiaris). However, a review of paleontological material that was published previously, along with newly reported ancient specimens, reveals a distinct historical diversity for the same region. The gray fox, U. cinereoargenteus, is the only small-sized taxon and the only Vulpini (true fox) identified to date in the fossil record of Venezuela; its presence is limited to the late Pleistocene of the Mene de Inciarte site, Zulia State. In contrast, large canids are more abundant. Aenocyon dirus (subtribe Canina), the dire wolf from the late Pleistocene, was reported from the sites El Mene de Inciarte, Muaco in Falcón State, and for the first time in El Breal de Orocual (ORS20) in Monagas State. The genus Protocyon, a native South American canid (subtribe Cerdocyonina), is recognized in the country from late Pleistocene Inciarte (Protocyon troglodytes sensu lato), and late Pliocene–early Pleistocene Orocual (ORS16) (Protocyon orocualensis sp. nov.). Finally, we report a possible genus Theriodictis from the late Pleistocene Orocual; this is a Cerdocyonina not previously mentioned for the northern region of South America. These records present broader diversity and suggest a more complex evolutionary history than previously thought for South American canids.

Damián Ruiz-Ramoni, Xiaoming Wang, and Ascanio D. Rincón "Canids (Caninae) from the Past of Venezuela," Ameghiniana 59(1), 97-116, (6 January 2022).
Received: 3 May 2021; Accepted: 16 September 2021; Published: 6 January 2022
Aenocyon dirus
Aenocyon dirus
América del Sur
South America
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