Bibliography and Index of the Sirenia and Desmostylia  

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"Vélez-Juarbe, Jorge"

Bajpai, Sunil; Domning, Daryl Paul; Das, Debi P.; Vélez-Juarbe, Jorge; Mishra, Vijay P. (detail)
A new fossil sirenian (Mammalia, Dugonginae) from the Miocene of India.
Neues Jb. Geol. Pal. Abh. 258(1): 39-50. 3 tabs. 6 figs. Published online June 2010.
–Describes Kutchisiren cylindrica, n.gen.n.sp., from the Lower Miocene (Aquitanian or Burdigalian) Khari Nadi Formation of Kutch, Gujarat, western India.
Uhen, Mark David; Coates, Anthony G.; Jaramillo, Carlos A.; Montes, Camilo; Pimiento, Catalina; Rincón, Aldo; Strong, Nikki; Vélez-Juarbe, Jorge (detail)
Marine mammals from the Miocene of Panama.
Jour. South American Earth Scis. 30(3-4): 167-175. 2 tabs. 5 figs.
–Describes a caudal vertebra and rib fragments representing two different dugongids from the Early Mioc. (Aquitanian-Burdigalian) Culebra Formation, Panama Canal (167-168, 170-174).
Vélez-Juarbe, Jorge; Domning, Daryl Paul; Pyenson, Nicholas D. (detail)
Iterative evolution of sympatric seacow (Dugongidae, Sirenia) assemblages during the past ~26 million years.
PLoS ONE 7(2): e31294. 8 pp. 1 tab. 3 figs. + 1 fig. in Supporting Information. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031294. Feb. 3, 2012.
–Available online at:
 ABSTRACT: Extant sirenians show allopatric distributions throughout most of their range. However, their fossil record shows evidence of multispecies communities throughout most of the past ~26 million years, in different oceanic basins. Morphological differences among co-occurring sirenian taxa suggest that resource partitioning played a role in structuring these communities. We examined body size and ecomorphological differences (e.g., rostral deflection and tusk morphology) among sirenian assemblages from the late Oligocene of Florida, early Miocene of India and early Pliocene of Mexico; each with three species of the family Dugongidae. Although overlapping in several ecomorphological traits, each assemblage showed at least one dominant trait in which coexisting species differed. Fossil sirenian occurrences occasionally are monotypic, but the assemblages analyzed herein show iterative evolution of multispecies communities, a phenomenon unparalleled in extant sirenian ecology. As primary consumers of seagrasses, these communities likely had a strong impact on past seagrass ecology and diversity, although the sparse fossil record of seagrasses limits direct comparisons. Nonetheless, our results provide robust support for previous suggestions that some sirenians in these extinct assemblages served as keystone species, controlling the dominance of climax seagrass species, permitting more taxonomically diverse seagrass beds (and sirenian communities) than many of those observed today.
Veléz-Juarbe, Jorge; Noriega, Jorge I.; Ferrero, Brenda S. (detail)
Fossil Dugongidae (Mammalia, Sirenia) from the Parana Formation (late Miocene) of Entre Rios Province, Argentina.
Ameghiniana 49(4): 585-593. 1 tab. 4 figs.
–Spanish summ.
Fitzgerald, Erich M. G.; Vélez-Juarbe, Jorge; Wells, Roderick T. (detail)
Miocene sea cow (Sirenia) from Papua New Guinea sheds light on sirenian evolution in the Indo-Pacific.
Jour. Vert. Paleo. 33(4): 956-963. 2 tabs. 8 figs. July 2013.
Vélez-Juarbe, Jorge (detail)
Ghost of seagrasses past: using sirenians as a proxy for historical distribution of seagrasses.
Palaeogeogr. Palaeoclim. Palaeoecol. 9 pp. 1 tab. 4 figs.
Vélez-Juarbe, Jorge; Domning, Daryl Paul (detail)
Fossil Sirenia of the West Atlantic and Caribbean region. IX. Metaxytherium albifontanum, sp. nov.
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 34(2): 444-464. 11 tabs. 15 figs. + supplemental online material. Mar. 2014 (publ. online Mar. 4, 2014).
–ABSTRACT: We describe a new species of the halitheriine dugongid genus Metaxytherium from the late Oligocene of Florida and South Carolina. The new species is represented by cranial and postcranial material, including parts of the axial and appendicular skeleton. Metaxytherium albifontanum, sp. nov., differs from other species of Metaxytherium by the following unique combination of plesiomorphic and derived characters: posterior end of nasal process of premaxilla broad and flat relative to what is observed in most other members of the genus (somewhat resembling M. subapenninum); ventral extremity of jugal under posterior edge of orbit (character 85[1]) (shared with M. krahuletzi); exoccipitals separated in dorsal midline (character 66[1]) (shared with all other species in the genus, except some M. krahuletzi); and innominate with acetabulum (nearly lost or lost in M. crataegense, M. floridanum, M. serresii). This new species was sympatric with two dugongines, Crenatosiren olseni and Dioplotherium manigaulti. The small tusks and cranial morphology of M. albifontanum, sp. nov., indicate that it was likely a consumer of small seagrasses. Our phylogenetic analysis is consistent with previous ones in placing Hydrodamalinae within a paraphyletic Metaxytherium spp. and placing the Metaxytherium spp. + Hydrodamalinae clade as the sister group to Dugonginae. Metaxytherium albifontanum, sp. nov., is the oldest known member of its genus; this might indicate that the group originated in the West Atlantic and Caribbean region and later dispersed to the Old World Tethys region.
Vélez-Juarbe, Jorge; Domning, Daryl Paul (detail)
Fossil Sirenia of the West Atlantic and Caribbean region: X. Priscosiren atlantica, gen. et sp. nov.
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 34(4): 951-964. 4 tabs. 9 figs. July 2014 (publ. online July 8, 2014).
–ABSTRACT: We describe a new genus and species of early Oligocene halitheriine dugongid from the Western Atlantic region. Priscosiren atlantica, gen. et sp. nov., differs from all other halitheriine dugongids by displaying the following unique combination of characters: supraorbital processes dorsoventrally thin (?1 cm) with well-developed prominent posterolateral corner; supraoccipitals wider in the dorsal half than the ventral half; exoccipitals meeting dorsal to the foramen magnum; posttympanic process with a prominent anteroventral process for attachment of m. sternomastoideus; nasals separated in midline; ventral extremity of jugal located ventral to orbit; ventral border of mandible strongly concave; absence of accessory mental foramina; dorsoventrally broad horizontal ramus of mandible; loss of all permanent premolars; and concave anteroventral surface of jugal (a possible autapomorphy). Differs further from the similar species Caribosiren turneri in having lesser rostral deflection (of about 44°); presence of small incisors; lower temporal crests; and slightly larger body size. The relationship of Priscosiren with other dugongids places it close to being a structural as well as temporal ancestor to the Metaxytherium + Hydrodamalinae and Dugonginae clades. This supports previous assumptions of a Western Atlantic and Caribbean origin for these groups, and indicates that the halitheriine-dugongine divergence must have occurred no later than the earliest Oligocene. Priscosiren, Caribosiren, and Crenatosiren evidently coexisted in the West Atlantic–Caribbean region, and constitute yet another case of a uniquely patterned fossil sirenian multispecies community.
Vélez-Juarbe, Jorge; Domning, Daryl Paul (detail)
Fossil Sirenia of the West Atlantic and Caribbean region. XI. Callistosiren boriquensis, gen. et sp. nov.
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 35(1): 4 tabs. 11 figs. Publ. online Jan. 27, 2015.
–Spanish summ.
  ABSTRACT: Here we describe a new taxon of late Oligocene dugongine from the Western Atlantic and Caribbean region. Known from cranial and postcranial material, Callistosiren boriquensis, gen. et sp. nov., differs from other members of the group by displaying the following unique combination of characters: nasal process of premaxilla tapering but thickened; supraorbital process of frontal dorsoventrally thin (<2 cm) and well developed with recurved, bluntly pointed posterolateral corner; ventral rim of orbit not overhanging the lateral surface of the jugal; pterygoid fossa tall; tusks large, lozenge- or kite-shaped in cross-section, and with enamel confined to the medial side; lacrimals with thin, elongated dorsal process that is wedged between the premaxilla and frontal; and osteosclerotic but minimally pachyostotic ribs and vertebrae. A phylogenetic analysis places Callistosiren as one of the more basal members of the Dugonginae, but we note that the relationships and taxonomy of more derived members are in need of revision. Characters of the cranial morphology, such as the shape and size of the incisor tusks and the nature of the contact between the premaxilla and frontal, indicate that this new taxon may have fed preferentially on large species of seagrasses and their rhizomes. In addition, possession of osteosclerotic but minimally pachyostotic ribs and vertebrae is a unique feature unknown in other extinct dugongines and may indicate foraging behavior not known from other fossil sirenians.

Daryl P. Domning, Research Associate, Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560, and Laboratory of Evolutionary Biology, Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Howard University, Washington, D.C. 20059.
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