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Smilodon populator et Protocyon troglodytes, deux superprédateurs du Pléistocène supérieur de la Serra da Capivara (Piauí) au Nordeste du Brésil

Résumé : Parmi les sites fossilifères de la région du Parc National Serra da Capivara (Piauí), deux ont livré des restes des deux grands carnivores Protocyon troglodytes et Smilodon populator du Pléistocène supérieur~: la Toca da Cima dos Pilão et la Toca das Moendas. Ces deux grottes, où ont été retrouvés de nombreux restes de proies, ont servi de tanière à ces prédateurs. À la Toca das Moendas, un crâne et une hémimandibule du Canidae P.~troglodytes ont été découverts~; ce crâne est le troisième spécimen connu pour cette espèce. La même grotte a livré deux hémimandibules, une très juvénile et une adulte, du Machairodontinae S.~populator, que nous étudions en même temps que d'autres restes remarquables de cette espèce, notamment une hémimandibule et une canine supérieure adultes, provenant de la Toca dos Pilão. Nous décrivons en particulier la dentition inférieure déciduale, qui est encore très peu connue dans cette espèce. Among the fossiliferous sites of the Serra da Capivara national park region (South Eastern Piauí), two have yielded interesting remains of the two large Upper Pleistocene Carnivora, Protocyon troglodytes (Lund, 1838) and Smilodon populator Lund, 1842, the Toca da Cima dos Pilão and the Toca das Moendas, both in the municipality of Coronel José Dias. In these two caverns, numerous remains of preys were found, namely, for the Toca da Cima dos Pilão, the two peccaries Dicotyles tajacu and Tayassu pecari, the medium sized ground sloth Catonyx cuvieri and the giant armadillo Pampatherium; for the Toca das Moendas Palaeolama, Equids and Cervids add to that list. The two sites were used as dens by the two Carnivora species. In the Toca das Moendas, a near complete adult skull and a hemimandible of the large Canid P.~troglodytes were found. The skull is the third ever known for the species. Its dimensions are very similar to those of a complete skull from the Toca da Boa Vista (Campo Formoso, Bahia, Brazil) described by Cartelle et Langguth (1999), and to those of an incomplete skull from the banks of the Bermejo River (Formosa Province, Argentina), described by Prevosti et al. (2005). It fits perfectly, like the teeth, with the anatomical characteristics of the species P.~troglodytes: wide muzzle, short palate, very reduced and forwardly offset protocone of the P4/, etc. The dimensions of the cheek teeth correspond well with those of numerous teeth from Lagoa Santa (Minas Gerais, Brazil) of the Lund Collection preserved in the Zoological Museum of Copenhagen. The same site of Toca das Moendas yielded two left hemimandibles of the Machairodontine S.~populator Lund, 1842, an adult and a very young ones. We study them together with other remarkable remains from the Toca da Cima dos Pilão, namely an adult upper canine and an adult hemimandible. The upper canine is one of the longest ever described for S.~populator. The P/4~are somewhat longer than those of the Californian Smilodon fatalis (Leidy, 1868), and the M/1~are about of the same average length but somewhat narrower. The segment P/4-M/1~is relatively short. The dimensions of the upper canine and of the lower cheek teeth fit well with those of some teeth from Lagoa Santa (Minas Gerais, Brazil) and from Argentina preserved in the Zoological Museum of Copenhagen. We describe particularly the decidual lower dentition, badly known in that species. The rather weak milk canine has a piriform outline. The D/3~is constituted by a strong protoconid flanked with two small cuspids, an anterior and a posterior ones. The D/4 (deciduous carnassial) shows a strong paraconid followed by a higher protoconid and a small posterior cuspid. These milk teeth, without any abrasion mark, suggest that our young specimen was less than three month old. Resumo Entre os sítios fósseis da região do Parque Nacional Serra da Capivara (Piauí), em dois foram evidenciados grandes carnívoros do Pleistoceno, a Toca de Cima dos Pilão e a Toca das Moendas. São duas cavernas que serviram de covil a estes predadores, nas quais foram encontrados inúmeros restos de presas. Na Toca das Moendas, um crânio e uma meia mandíbula do Canidae Protocyon troglodytes foram descobertos, o crânio é o segundo espécime completo conhecido para esta espécie. Nesta caverna descobriu-se ainda, duas meias mandíbulas, uma de um jovem e outra de um adulto, ambas do Machairodontinae Smilodon populator, que foram estudadas junto a outros restos notáveis de S.~populator, notadamente uma meia mandíbula adulta, proveniente da Toca dos Pilão. Descrevemos a dentição decídua, que é ainda, muito pouco conhecida nesta espécie.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 12:12:33 PM
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Martine Faure, Claude Guérin. Smilodon populator et Protocyon troglodytes, deux superprédateurs du Pléistocène supérieur de la Serra da Capivara (Piauí) au Nordeste du Brésil. Annales de Paléontologie, 2014, 100 (4), pp.283--295. ⟨10.1016/j.annpal.2014.01.004⟩. ⟨hal-02351158⟩

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