New Miocene Decapoda (Thalassinidea; Brachyura) from Tierra del Fuego, Argentina: Paleobiogeographic Implications01/01/2011
A decapod crustacean fauna of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, is documented from the middle Miocene Carmen Silva Formation and the early? Miocene Cerro Águila Conglomerate of the Cabo Domingo Group. Three new genera and five new species are named: Asthenognathus australensis, new species; Miotymolus quadratus, new genus and species; Mursia fuegiana, new species; Pharkidodes agele, new genus and species; and Tierrapilumnus edseli, new genus and species. Compilation of all described species of decapods from late Oligocene to early Pliocene exposures in 18 general localities in Patagonia, southern Argentina, and Chile documents two paleobiogeographic provinces, Argentine and Chilean. Coupled with evidence from the biogeographic patterns of associated mollusks, the faunas from Tierra del Fuego have been assigned to the Argentine Paleobiogeographic Province. Comparison of the distribution of Miocene decapods with that of extant decapods (Boschi 2000) leads to the conclusion that the thermal separation of South Atlantic and South Pacific water in the Miocene was more pronounced than today, so that there is no evidence of a discrete Magellanic Biogeographic Province characterizing the high southern latitude region during the Miocene.