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1 July 2014 Intraspecific Morphological Variation and Its Implications in the Taxonomic Status of ‘Bufo pisanoi,’ A Pliocene Anuran from Eastern Argentina
Celeste M. Pérez Ben, Raúl O. Gómez, Ana M. Báez
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Abstract

The true toad family Bufonidae is one of the most speciose and widespread clades of neobatrachian anurans. Despite being well represented in South America at present, bufonids have a poor fossil record on this continent. ‘Bufo pisanoi’ from Pliocene outcrops of coastal Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, is the only extinct South American bufonid taxon recognized to date. In this study, we investigated the validity of the putative diagnostic characters of this extinct species to confirm its taxonomic status based on revision of the holotype and referred material. Comparisons with several extant bufonid species led us to include the taxon represented by this fossil material within the Rhinella marina clade, close to R. arenarum. Further comparisons and a geometric morphometric analysis based on a relatively large sample of the latter species demonstrated that the morphology of ‘B. pisanoi’ falls within the variation range of R. arenarum. Therefore, we consider that the names ‘B. pisanoi’ and R. arenarum represent the same taxon, with the latter having priority. This work emphasizes the importance of considering intraspecific variation whenever possible, because this leads to a more rigorous approach to the identification of fossil specimens and tests the taxonomic value of different osteological characters.

© 2014 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Celeste M. Pérez Ben, Raúl O. Gómez, and Ana M. Báez "Intraspecific Morphological Variation and Its Implications in the Taxonomic Status of ‘Bufo pisanoi,’ A Pliocene Anuran from Eastern Argentina," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 34(4), 767-773, (1 July 2014). https://doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2014.839452
Received: 19 April 2013; Accepted: 1 August 2013; Published: 1 July 2014
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