Burrowing



Smith (1987) found large dicynodont burrows in the Late Permian of South Africa. The burrows are helical and the lower chamber is over 0.75m from the surface (figure 5.1). Some specimens contain dicynodont fossils (Diictodon) within the burrow chambers. Burrows may have been produced by scratching soil with forelimbs and perhaps using their beak like jaws. A burrowing nature in some dicynodonts reflects the first originaton of burrowing behaviour in vertebrates (Benton, 1988).
burrow
fossil in burrow



Figure 5.1. Dicynodont burrows from the Late Permian, Karoo Basin, South Africa. Above: corkscrew shaped burrow. Below: Skeleton of dicynodont curled up.

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