THE OLDEST SPECIES OFDIDELPHIS(MAMMALIA, MARSUPIALIA, DIDELPHIDAE), FROM THE LATE MIOCENE OF AMAZONIA

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Abstract

The oldest known species of the genus Didelphis (Mammalia, Marsupialia, Didelphidae) is described here. The holotype and only known specimen comes from the late Miocene deposits of the Solimões Formation at Patos, Acre River, Brazil. The new species is one of only a few marsupials known from this assemblage. The new species differs from other known species by its smaller size, low mandibular ramus, smaller molars relative to premolars, and p3 with inflated crown. The last feature suggests more frugivorous habits than in other species of the genus.

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