Revista de la Asociación Geológica Argentina
versión On-line ISSN 1851-8249
FERNICOLA, Juan Carlos; VIZCAINO, Sergio F. y DE IULIIS, Gerardo. The fossil mammals collected byCharles Darwin in South America during his travels on board the HMS Beagle. Rev. Asoc. Geol. Argent. [online]. 2009, vol.64, n.1, pp. 147-159. ISSN 1851-8249.
Duringthe first two years of his voyage aboard HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin collected aconsiderable number of fossil mammals from various localities in Argentina andUruguay. Among these remains are those of large mammals that Darwin informallyassigned to Megatherium and Mastodon, the only large taxa thenknown for South America, and of small and mediumsized mammals that Darwinrecognized as representing at least two rodents and a horse. The study ofDarwin's collection was entrusted to Richard Owen, who described eleven taxabetween 1837 and 1845, including the six following ones: Toxodon platensis,Macrauchenia patachonica, Equus curvidens, Scelidotherium leptocephalum,Mylodon darwini and Glossotherium sp. This contribution provides asynthesis of Darwin's preliminary assignments and evaluates the reasons thatled him to recognize only megatheres and mastodonts for the large fossilremains. Also, it discusses the current taxonomic status of the taxa describedor erected by Owen between 1837 and 1845 and the influence that Owen'staxonomic and phylogenetic conclusions had on the development of Darwin's ideason evolution.
Palabras clave : Darwin; Taxonomy; South America; Fossil mammals.