A new genus and species of chinchilloid rodent is described here. It was found in Colhuehuapian levels (early Miocene) of the localities of Bryn Gwyn and Gran Barranca, Chubut Province, Argentina. The new taxon shows a unique combination of characters (e.g., protohypsodont teeth, upper molars trilophodont, m1 and m2 tri- or tetralophodont with the second crest in position of variable development, and m3 trilophodont, cement absent) that make it different from any other known chinchilloids. We performed a phylogenetic analysis to corroborate the relationships of the new taxon within the Chinchilloidea. Our results indicate that the new taxon is best classified as Chinchilloidea incertae sedis, together with Incamys, Garridomys, and Scotamys. These species form the basal stock that leads to the modern lineage Chinchillidae (chinchillas and viscachas). The presence of the new taxon in these localities increases the diversity of chinchilloids during the early Miocene and reduces the dissimilarity between the faunas found in Bryn Gwyn and Gran Barranca.
Chinchilloidea, Systematic, Phylogeny, Colhuehuapian, Patagonia