Puerto Chavez (Miocene of Venezuela)

Where: Venezuela (11.5° N, 69.5° W: paleocoordinates 11.2° N, 67.9° W)

• coordinate stated in text

When: El Muaco Member (Caujarao Formation), Tortonian (11.6 - 7.2 Ma)

• Kavanagh de Petzall (1959) divided the Caujarao Formation into three members: El Muaco (lower), Mataruca (middle) and Taratara (upper), where the latter one is underlying La Vela Formation (Miocene–Pliocene). The fossiliferous localities here studied belong to the El Muaco Member (Fig. 2), which is 690 m thick and with a lithology characterized mainly by mudstones and clays with some limestones and sandstones well developed at the basal section of the member (Kavanagh de Petzall 1959; Vallenilla 1961).

Environment/lithology: estuary or bay; gray mudstone

• The mixture of marine and freshwater/terrestrial fauna observed in these fossiliferous layers of the Quebrada Cucuruchu and Puerto Chavez localities, which includes amber fragments (Fig. 5a–d) and carbonized vegetation, could be inferred as the result of the input of streams and rivers from the backshore to the littoral marine environment, evidence of mixed coastal marine and fluvial–estuarine environments. The presence of freshwater and continental faunal (e.g., terrestrial sloths and pampatherids) surrounding the littoral area where the Muaco Member was deposited could suggest the presence of rivers with savanna and forest areas.
• The Puerto Chavez fossiliferous locality is located in the coastal line, and it is characterized by a 50 cm thick brown–orange bioturbated coquinoid layer, overlaying a gray mudstone, both with abundant marine invertebrate fragments and marine–continental vertebrates.

Size classes: macrofossils, mesofossils

Collection methods: surface (in situ), mechanical, ,

• The specimens were extracted from the sediment/rocks mechanically, and these are housed in the paleontological collection of the Museo Angel Segundo Lopez, Taratara, Falcon State, Venezuela, with the acronym MTT-V.

Primary reference: J. D. Carrillo-Briceno, A. E. Reyes-Cespedes, R. Salas-Gismondi and R. Sanchez. 2018. A new vertebrate continental assemblage from the Tortonian of Venezuela. Swiss Journal of Palaeontology 1-12 [E. Vlachos/E. Vlachos]more details

Purpose of describing collection: taxonomic analysis

PaleoDB collection 200111: authorized by Evangelos Vlachos, entered by Evangelos Vlachos on 14.03.2019

Creative Commons license: CC BY (attribution)

Taxonomic list

unclassified
  -
Chondrichthyes
 Rhinopristiformes - Pristidae
Pristis sp. Linck 1790 sawfish
 Myliobatiformes - Dasyatidae
Dasyatidae indet. Jordan 1888 whiptail stingray
 Lamniformes - Otodontidae
"Carcharocles megalodon" = Otodus megalodon
"Carcharocles megalodon" = Otodus megalodon Agassiz 1843 megalodon
 Carchariniformes - Carcharhinidae
Negaprion sp. Whitley 1940 lemon shark
Galeocerdo aduncus Agassiz 1843 tiger shark
Carcharhinus leucas Valenciennes 1839 requiem shark
 Carchariniformes - Sphyrnidae
Sphyrna mokarran hammerhead shark
Sphyrna zygaena Linnaeus 1758 hammerhead shark
Actinopteri
 Tetraodontiformes - Diodontidae
 Siluriformes - Doradidae
 Siluriformes - Pimelodidae
Pimelodidae indet. Eigenmann and Eigenmann 1918 catfish
 Characiformes - Serrasalmidae
Serrasalmidae indet. Günther 1864
Reptilia
 Pseudosuchia - Gavialidae
Gavialidae indet. Adams 1854 archosaur
 Crocodylia - Alligatoridae
Alligatoridae indet. Gray 1844 crocodilian
Purussaurus sp. Barbosa Rodrigues 1892 crocodilian
 Crocodylia -
cf. Gryposuchus pachakamue Salas-Gismondi et al. 2016 crocodilian
Mammalia
 Rodentia - Dinomyidae
Potamarchus sp. Burmeister 1885 caviomorph
 Xenarthra - Pampatheriidae
Scirrotherium sp. Edmund and Theodor 1997 edentate