Article: Endothiodont dicynodonts from the Late Permian Kundaram Formation, India
The Kundaram Formation, a Lower Gondwana unit of the Pranhita-Godavari valley, contains the only known Permian dicynodonts in India. This dicynodont assemblage is dominated by Endothiodon. Two species (Endothiodon mahalanobisi sp. nov and Endothiodon uniseries Owen 1879) are described here. This is the first detailed study of Endothiodon from outside Africa. The study shows that Endothiodon jaw articulation permitted propalinal action when the opposing serrations in the upper and the lower jaw teeth occluded with the horn covered areas and helped in shearing and mastication. The presence of oblique wear facets on the upper and lower jaw teeth and a masseter-like muscle suggest a slightly lateral movement of the lower jaw which enhanced slicing of plant matter. A robust stapes with posterolateral notch constitutes the middle ear region though Endothiodon depended mainly on ground vibrations for hearing. Other features included a reduced olfactory sense and large eyes for vigilance and ease of detecting predators. Based on its vertebrate fauna, this fossiliferous Gondwana horizon of the Pranhita-Godavari valley is broadly correlated with the Tropidostoma and/or Cistecephalus Assemblage Zones of the Beaufort Group, Karoo Supergroup, South Africa. It indicates a probable Tatarian age for the Kundaram Formation.