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Episodes 2020; 43(1): 438-460

Published online March 1, 2020


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

Gondwana Vertebrate Faunas of India: Their Diversity and Intercontinental Relationships

Saswati Bandyopadhyay1* and Sanghamitra Ray2

1Geological Studies Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, 203 B. T. Road, Kolkata 700108, India; email: saswati@isical.ac.in
2Department of Geology and Geophysics, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302, India; email: sray@gg.iitkgp.ac.in
*Corresponding author

Correspondence to:email: saswati@isical.ac.in

Received: December 23, 2018; Revised: September 11, 2019; Accepted: September 11, 2019

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The twelve Gondwanan stratigraphic horizons of India have yielded varied vertebrate fossils. The oldest fossil record is the Endothiodon-dominated multitaxic Kundaram fauna, which correlates the Kundaram Formation with several other coeval Late Permian horizons of South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Madagascar and Brazil. The Permian-Triassic transition in India is marked by distinct taxonomic shift and faunal characteristics and represented by small-sized holdover fauna of the Early Triassic Panchet and Kamthi fauna. The Middle and Late Triassic saw extensive radiations of the indigenous and living faunas in the form of new temnospondyls, varied archosauromorphs, the basal dinosaurs, non-mammalian cynodonts and mammaliaforms. All the Triassic Gondwanan horizons of India can be correlated with other horizons around the world, resulting in precise biostratigraphic correlation. The Triassic-Jurassic transition in India show marked biotic turnover, which may have resulted from global warming and volcanism. On a Pangaean landscape, the Indian Gondwanan vertebrate assemblages reflect major transformations in vertebrate evolution, global faunal transitions, and constitute important biostratigraphic markers.