Skeletal homologies, phylogeny and classification of the earliest asterozoan echinoderms

Dean Shackleton, J. (2005) Skeletal homologies, phylogeny and classification of the earliest asterozoan echinoderms. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 3 (1). pp. 29-114. DOI

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A thorough reappraisal of extant and fossil asterozoan plate systems is used to construct working hypotheses of primary plate homologies for Ordovician Asterozoa. Results indicate that inferomarginal ossicles of asteroids, somasteroids and the primitive ophiuroid Phragmactis are likely to be homologous with edrioasteroid marginals. The intermediate virgals and coverplates of somasteroids are identified as modified actinals and the sub-laterals of certain stenurids are axial, here termed podial plates, with laterals in these taxa homologous to true lateral plates and adambulacrals of ophiuroids and asteroids, respectively. The nature of the asterozoan mouth frame is reinvestigated as a result of new study of the mouth frames of key taxa, with a reappraisal of existing developmental and symmetry data. It is argued that primitive asterozoanmouth angle plates were entirely ambulacral and probably not spine-bearing, but thatmouth spines evolved in asteroids and ophiuroids either on the existing first ambulacrals or by the superposition of first adambulacrals adoral to first ambulacrals. These new data are used to undertake a cladistic analysis of all known genera of Ordovician asterozoan echinoderms (38 taxa), based on a dataset of 150 morphological characters, rooted on theMiddle Cambrian edrioasteroid taxa Stromatocystites and Cambraster. The resulting tree is fully resolved although some deeper branches show poor support. It reveals that Ordovician asteroids form a monophyletic group (defined by the presence of an unpaired axillary inferomarginal, opposing ambulacrals and blocky abutting adambulacrals) and are a sister group to the remaining asterozoans, including the somasteroids. Somasteroids aremonophyletic and,with the primitive taxon Phragmactis, are a sister group to the remaining ophiuroids. The class Ophiuroidea is diagnosed by the near-simultaneous appearance of apomorphies including an interradial disc with highly separated arms and aboral and oral interambulacral longitudinal musculature.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: NIL AREP IA47 2005 P
Subjects: 04 - Palaeobiology
Divisions: 04 - Palaeobiology
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Systematic Palaeontology
Volume: 3
Page Range: pp. 29-114
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 30 May 2011 14:24
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 09:58

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