Miocene characid fishes from Colombia: evolutionary stasis and extirpation.


Journal Article

Fossil fishes from the Miocene La Venta fauna of the Magdalena River Valley, Colombia, are identified as Colossoma macropomum (Characidae), a living species from the Orinoco and Amazon basins. The fossils document a long and conservative history for a species that is highly specialized for feeding on streamside plants. The phylogenetically advanced position of Colossoma in the subfamily Serrasalminae implies that six related genera and other higher characid taxa originated well before 15 million years ago. This discovery also corroborates neontological evidence for a vicariance event that contributed species from Miocene Orinoco-Amazon faunas to the original Magdalena region fauna. The fossils suggest a formerly diverse Magdalena fauna that has suffered local extinction, perhaps associated with late Cenozoic tectonism. This new evidence may help explain the depauperate nature of the modern Magdalena River.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lundberg, JG; Machado-Allison, A; Kay, RF

Published Date

  • October 1, 1986

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 234 / 4773

Start / End Page

  • 208 - 209

PubMed ID

  • 17746480

Pubmed Central ID

  • 17746480

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.234.4773.208


  • eng