A Miocene termite nest from southern Argentina and its paleoclimatological implications
Ichnos: An International Journal for Plant and Animal Traces
- Thomas M. Bown and José H. Laza
A Miocene termitarium attributable to the extant termite Syntermes (Isoptera: Termitidae, Nasutitermitinae) is the first fossil termite nest reported from South America and possibly the oldest record of the Isoptera from that continent. The fossil remains consist of most of the periphery of the subterranean portion of a single Syntermes nest, including chambers and both major and minor systems of anastomosed galleries. The nest occurs in the upper part of a mature paleosol near the base of the pyroclastic and eolian Miocene Pinturas Formation.
A new ichnogenus and ichnospecies, Syntermesichnus fon‐tanae, is proposed for this distinctive trace fossil. It differs from nests constructed by other members of the Nasutitermitinae in its architectural organization and its large size. The type locality is situated 20° south of the southernmost dispersion of extant Syntermes.The modern distribution of this termite is wholly neotropical, suggesting that at least part of southern Patagonia experienced a tropical to subtropical climate as late as the late‐early Miocene.
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- Journal Article
- A Miocene termite nest from southern Argentina and its paleoclimatological implications
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- Ichnos: An International Journal for Plant and Animal Traces
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- Taylor & Francis
- 7 p.
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