Sends a list of mammalian remains found in the Buenos Aires district and purchased by the British Museum.
Gen. Megatherium—remains of at least three if not four individuals. The bones which we possess vary much in size, and yet the smallest do not show any indications of immaturity—possibly the sexes differed in size.
Mylodon robustus—remains of one individual
Genus Glyptodon, remains of at least three distinct species— cannot say whether there be more than one individual of each.
Mastodon audium remains of three individuals
Macrauchenia—a ramus of a lower jaw, with the molar teeth, supposed to belong to this animal—the form of the jaw and teeth greatly resembles that of a Rhinoceros
Toxodon—a complete lower jaw, with many of the teeth,—supposed to differ from the T. platensis—, and anterior part of the upper jaw, probably of a different individual— this fragment is in a different condition to the lower jaw, and was imbedded in a blackish earth containing minute particles of iron pyrites(?) like gold dust, a leg bone of a glyptodon & some of the Mastodon remains present the same conditions Ord.
Machairodus Kaup— Great portion of the skull
& a nearly perfect lower
Smilodon, & formerly jaw of the same individual— Hyæna of Lund
I feel no doubt that these parts belonged to an animal specifically
identical with one found in the Brazilian caverns—
As far as we know, however, the extinct species are generally distinct
in the two districts, Brazil & La Plata, or at least those found in
the latter quarter are rare in Brazil & vice versa. We have a tooth
of a Megatherium from the Brazil caverns but in those caves I have
found no Mylodon remains, a nearly allied animal the Scelidotherium
was there abundant, judging from the remains—which belong to
2 or 3 species. Our Glyptodons from Brazil are distinct from those
of Buenos-Ayres— There must be at least 6 or
7 species of Glyptodon,
My dear Darwin
I need scarcely say if there are any other points I can help you in, I shall with pleasure do it.
Believe me faithfully yours | Geo. R. Waterhouse
- f1 968.f1The fossils are included in CD's short account of places in the Pampas region where mammiferous remains had been found (see South America, pp. 106–7). The account was intended to help geologists investigating the area in future, and included every fossil station then known. With Waterhouse's list is a note by CD, of a tooth of Toxodon platensis found near Buenos Aires. This also is cited in the list, and in South America, p. 88.
- f2 968.f2The fossils were purchased in 1845 (South America, p. 106). The vendor was Pedro de Angelis, an antiquary and traveller in South America, see British Museum 1904–6, 1: 207.