Absurdaster, a new genus of basal atelostomate from the Early Cretaceous of Europe and its phylogenetic position

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11703/120683
Title: Absurdaster, a new genus of basal atelostomate from the Early Cretaceous of Europe and its phylogenetic position
Authors: Consorci del Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona
Kroh, Andreas
Lukeneder, Alexander
Gallemí, Jaume
Issue Date: 20-Feb-2014
Keywords: Equinoderms fòssils
Cretaci
Spatial coverage: Europa
Access to document: http://hdl.handle.net/2072/357011
Citation: Cretaceous Research, Volume 48, March 2014, Pages 235-249
Publisher: Elsevier
Extent: 15 p.
Abstract: Field work in the Lower Cretaceous of the Dolomites (Italy) has resulted in the recovery of a new genus of ‘disasteroid’ echinoid, which successively was also discovered in slightly older strata in Northern Hungary. This new genus, Absurdaster, is characterized by its highly modified, disjunct apical disc in which all genital plate except genital plate 2 are reduced or fused. The gonopores (which may be multiple) have shifted and pierce interambulacral plates. Anteriorly ambulacrum III is distinctly sunken and forms a distinct frontal notch, while the posterior end is pointed and features a small sharply defined posterior face bearing the periproct. Two new species are established: Absurdaster puezensis sp. nov. from the Upper Hauterivian to Lower Barremian Puez Formation of Northern Italy is characterized by its rudimentary ambulacral pores in the paired ambulacra, high hexagonal ambulacral plates aborally and multiple gonopores in the most adapical plates of interambulacral columns 1b and 4a. Absurdaster hungaricus sp. nov. from the Lower Hauterivian Bersek Marl Formation of Northern Hungary, in contrast, shows circumflexed ambulacral pores, low ambulacral plates, a single gonopore each in the most adapical plates of interambulacral columns 1b and 4a and a flaring posterior end, with sharp margin and invaginated periproct. In addition to those two species Collyrites meriani Ooster, 1865 from the uppermost Berriasian to basal Barremian of Switzerland is attributed to the new genus. Despite the poor knowledge on this form it seems to be distinguished from the new species by its smaller ambulacral plates and higher interambulacral/ambulacral plate ratio. Phylogenetic analyses based on previous work by Barras (2007) and Saucède et al. (2007) indicate that the new genus is a highly derived stem-group member of the Atelostomata close to the split of holasteroids and spatangoids. A combined analysis based on a subset of the characters employed in these two studies for the first time results in a fully resolved tree for ‘disasteroids’. Absurdaster, shows two notable morphological peculiarities: 1) it is one of the first echinoids to develop fascioles and exhibits a yet unknown type of fasciole circling the periproct, termed circumanal fasciole here; 2) it is extraordinary among echinoderms as its extraxial skeleton is reduced to a single plate, the madreporite (genital plate 2), and because its genital pores pierce axial elements rather than extraxial ones.
Terms of use: CC-BY-NC-ND
Appears in Collections:Paleontologia / Articles

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