Map of the Month: Pampas and Arid Chaco

Map of the Month: Pampas, Monte, Espinal, and Arid Chaco
Map boundaries: 30 to 40 degrees South; 60 to 70 degrees West
Countries: Argentina and Chile

The Pampeanas Mountains, located between Cordoba and San Juan and extending northward beyond 30 degrees latitude, are a dry-land region of mountains and eroded rock formations in central Argentina. They are an arid extension of the Chaco region which is in more tropical areas to the north. Ecoregions covering the Pampeanas and Sierras Centrales around Cordoba are called the Arid Chaco, Cordoba montane savanna, and Argentine Monte. The region has been compared to the Great Basin of the U.S. but parts of the Sonoran Desert also sound like an appropriate comparison. The notable Ischiagualasto Provincial Park contains the most complete fossil record known from the Triassic Period, the earliest of the periods of the dinosaurs. In addition to fossils of the ancestors of mammals and dinosaurs, petrified trees up to 130 feet tall are present. Continue reading