Canids invaded South American during the Pliocene (2.8–3.1 Ma BP) as part of the Great American Biotic Interchange, but their record on the continent is relatively poor until the Pleistocene. However, even the Pleistocene record of the group is patchy and biased, with few records for the northern part of South America. In this paper we describe a new assemblage of canids found at the Inciarte asphalt pits (Zulia, Venezuela). These remains are associated with a variety of extinct Pleistocene mammals dated between 25–27 Ka BP. Canids in this assemblage include Protocyon troglodytes (Lund 1838), Protocyon sp., Canis dirus Leidy, 1858, Urocyon cf. U. cinereoargenteus (Schreber, 1775), and an indeterminate canid. This is the first record of Urocyon Baird, 1758 from the Late Pleistocene in South America and constrains the timing of its dispersal to South America. The distributional record of Protocyon Giebel, 1855 and P. troglodytes is expanded 1,500 km north of previous records and constitutes the first record of these taxa in Venezuela. The presence of C. dirus at Inciarte constitutes the fourth locality for this species in South America.
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Vol. 81 • No. 5