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Santiago Roth Palaeontological Collections

Santiago Roth and his scientific legacy: a reappraisal of the Swiss collections

Santiago Roth (1850-1924) emigrated to Argentina as a child and became a self-taught palaeontologist. Roth is, after Agassiz, the most significant natural scientist from Switzerland to become a main figure in the Americas.  Each year, thousands of visitors admire the giant ground sloth (Megatherium) in the Zoological Museum of the University of Zurich. Despite their popularity, the vast mammals finds that Roth deposited in Swisss collections remained mostly unstudied—until recently. Ongoing research efforts on Roth's fossils in Swiss collections have been enhanced by financial support from SwissCollNet and Swiss SNF. This special issue markis a collection of comprehensive studies of unique collections mainly in Zurich of diverse groups of mostly but not only mammals - in commemoration of Roth’s legacy, one century after his death.

Special Issue Editors:
Analía M. Forasiepi, CONICET Mendoza

Gabriel Aguirre-Fernández, University of Zürich

  1. The fossil collections made by early explorers in South America have been fundamental to reveal the past diversity of extinct mammals and unravel their evolutionary history. One important early explorer in Sou...

    Authors: Juan D. Carrillo and Hans P. Püschel
    Citation: Swiss Journal of Palaeontology 2023 142:28
  2. The “human fossil” from Baradero, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, is a collection of skeleton parts first recovered by the paleontologist Santiago Roth and further studied by the anthropologist Rudolf Martin...

    Authors: Lumila Paula Menéndez, Chiara Barbieri, Idalia Guadalupe López Cruz, Thomas Schmelzle, Abagail Breidenstein, Rodrigo Barquera, Guido Borzi, Verena J. Schuenemann and Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra
    Citation: Swiss Journal of Palaeontology 2023 142:26
  3. Santiago Roth was a Swiss fossil finder, naturalist, and paleontologist that emigrated to Argentina in 1866. His work largely influenced the discipline in the country at the end of the twentieth century, parti...

    Authors: Damián Voglino, Jorge D. Carrillo-Briceño, Heinz Furrer, Ana Balcarcel, Gizeh Rangel-de Lazaro, Gabriel Aguirre Fernández and Analía M. Forasiepi
    Citation: Swiss Journal of Palaeontology 2023 142:25
  4. Roth’s explorations, the resulting collections many now allocated in La Plata, Zurich, Geneva and Copenhagen, and his significant contributions in geological—especially stratigraphic—and paleontological topics...

    Authors: Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra, Mariano Bond, Marcelo Reguero and Tomás Bartoletti
    Citation: Swiss Journal of Palaeontology 2023 142:19
  5. Ever since the discovery of the first remains of Macrauchenia patachonica by Charles Darwin in 1834, this taxon has puzzled researchers with its peculiar anatomy. Being the best-known member of the family Macrauc...

    Authors: Hans P. Püschel and Agustín G. Martinelli
    Citation: Swiss Journal of Palaeontology 2023 142:16
  6. With their odd cranial features, glyptodonts, closely related to extant armadillos, are a highly diverse group of the South American megafauna. Doedicurus, Glyptodon, Panochthus, and Neosclerocalyptus were presen...

    Authors: Zoe M. Christen, Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra and Kévin Le Verger
    Citation: Swiss Journal of Palaeontology 2023 142:14
  7. Nearctic ungulates such as artiodactyls, perissodactyls, and proboscideans arrived in South America during the Great American Biotic Interchange. Among them are camelids, cervids, tayassuids, equids, tapirids ...

    Authors: Jorge D. Carrillo-Briceño, Raúl I. Vezzosi, Keesha M. Ming, Zoe M. Christen, Dimila Mothé, Damián Ruiz-Ramoni and Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra
    Citation: Swiss Journal of Palaeontology 2023 142:12
  8. Santiago Roth (1850–1924) was a naturalist that collected and sold fossils from the Pampean region (Argentina) in Europe. Much of the specimens collected by Roth are hosted at the Paläontologisches Institut un...

    Authors: Damián Ruiz-Ramoni, Jorge D. Carrillo‑Briceno, Damian Voglino and Francisco Juan Prevosti
    Citation: Swiss Journal of Palaeontology 2023 142:11