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Bones, Clones, and BiomesThe History and Geography of Recent Neotropical Mammals$
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Bruce D. Patterson and Leonora P. Costa

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226649191

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226649214.001.0001

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Biogeography of Mammals from the Guianas of South America

Biogeography of Mammals from the Guianas of South America

(p.230) 11 Biogeography of Mammals from the Guianas of South America
Bones, Clones, and Biomes
Burton K. Lim
University of Chicago Press

The Guianas of northern South America consist of French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, and southeastern Venezuela (states of Delta Amacuro, Bolivar, and Amazonas). There are 284 species representing 12 orders of terrestrial mammals documented from the Guianas. Over half of the species (147) are bats, with rodents accounting for about 20 percent and other orders each representing less than 10 percent of the mammalian species. The Guiana plateau (〉500 m elevation) is the most prominent biogeographic feature. It has influenced diversification of mammals in this region by fostering endemism and functioning as a geographic barrier. Within South America, the ancient Guiana Shield has acted as a stable core area for range expansions from both the Andes and the Amazon during periods of environmental change beginning in the Miocene.

Keywords:   biogeography, mammals, guianas, species, Miocene, South America

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