Technical CommentsECOLOGY

Comment (1) on “Formation of the Isthmus of Panama” by O’Dea et al.

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Science Advances  14 Jun 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 6, e1602321
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602321

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  • Comments to “Formation of the Isthmus of Panama: Response to Jaramillo et al.”

    Comments to “Formation of the Isthmus of Panama: Response to Jaramillo et al.”

    Carlos Jaramillo1*, Camilo Montes2, Agustin Cardona3, Daniele Silvestro4,5, Alexandre Antonelli4,5,6,7, Christine D. Bacon4,5

    1Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Ciudad de Panamá, Panamá, 2Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia, 3Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellín, Colombia, 4University of Gothenburg, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Gothenburg, Sweden, 5Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre, Gothenburg, Sweden, 6Gothenburg Botanical Garden, Gothenburg, Sweden, 7Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA,*Corresponding author:

    Our comment (1) addressed two specific points made by the original article from O’Dea et al. (2): i) that reports by Montes et al. (3) and Bacon et al. (4, 5) regarding a middle Miocene closure of the Central American Seaway (CAS) were unsupported, and ii) that 2.8 Ma was the time of formation of the Isthmus. Unfortunately, the eLetter response by O’Dea et al. (6) did not address either of these points.

    First, we demonstrated (1) that the provenance analysis provided by O’Dea et al. original article (2) was invalid: none of the 131 zircon ages presented by O’Dea et al. (2) reject an earlier closure of the Central American Seaway as proposed by Montes et al. (3), and further reinforced by recent data (7). Th...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • Formation of the Isthmus of Panama: Response to Jaramillo et al.
    • Aaron O'Dea, Research Biologist, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

    Formation of the Isthmus of Panama: Response to Jaramillo et al.

    Aaron O’Dea, Harilaos A. Lessios, Anthony G. Coates, Ron I. Eytan, Laurel S. Collins, Alberto L. Cione, Alan de Queiroz, David W. Farris, Richard D. Norris, Sergio A. Restrepo-Moreno, Robert F. Stallard, Michael O. Woodburne, Orangel Aguilera, Marie-Pierre Aubry, William A. Berggren, Ann F. Budd, Mario A. Cozzuol, Simon E. Coppard, Seth Finnegan, Germán M. Gasparini, Ethan L. Grossman, Kenneth G. Johnson, Lloyd D. Keigwin, Nancy Knowlton, Egbert G. Leigh, Jill S. Leonard-Pingel, Peter B. Marko, Nicholas D. Pyenson, Paola G. Rachello-Dolmen, Esteban Soibelzon, Leopoldo Soibelzon, Jonathan A. Todd, Geerat J. Vermeij, Jeremy B.C. Jackson

    Jaramillo et al. (1) now agree that the modern day Isthmus of Panama formed in the late Pliocene but a consensus has yet to be reached (fig. 1). Jaramillo et al. (1) state that from ~15 Ma until ~3.5 Ma the Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) and Caribbean Sea were connected by intermittent water passages. If the implication were that shallow seawater connections occurred continuously from ~15 Ma until final formation of the Isthmus in the late Pliocene, then their model is essentially the same as the one that has been accepted for over 40 years, and there is little left to debate (2). Instead, Jaramillo et al. (1) appear to argue that there were complete cessations of water that were long enough to have major biogeographical consequences. Does the eviden...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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