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24 January 2024 Crinoid calyx origin from stem radial echinoderms
Thomas E. Guensburg, Rich Mooi, Nicolás Mongiardino Koch
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Evidence from the earliest-known crinoids (Tremadocian, Early Ordovician), called protocrinoids, is used to hypothesize initial steps by which elements of the calyx evolved. Protocrinoid calyces are composed of extraxial primary and surrounding secondary plates (both of which have epispires along their sutures) that are unlike those of more crownward fossil and extant crinoids in which equivalent calycinal plating is strongly organized. These reductions inspired several schemes by which to name the plates in these calyces. However, the primary-secondary systems seen in protocrinoids first appeared among Cambrian stem radial echinoderms, with primaries representing centers around which secondaries were sequentially added during ontogeny. Therefore, the protocrinoid calyx represents an intermediate condition between earliest echinoderms and crownward crinoids. Position and ontogeny indicate certain primaries remained as loss of secondaries occurred, resulting in abutting of primaries into the conjoined alternating circlets characteristic of crinoids. This transformative event included suppression of secondary plating and modification or, more commonly, elimination of respiratory structures. These data indicate subradial calyx plate terminology does not correspond with most common usage, but rather, supports an alternative redefinition of these traditional expressions. Extension and adoral growth of fixed rays during calyx ontogeny preceded conjoined primaries in earliest crinoids. Restriction with modification or elimination of calyx respiratory structures also accompanied this modification. Phylogenetic analyses strongly support crinoid origination from early pentaradiate echinoderms, separate from blastozoans. Accordingly, all Tremadocian crinoids express a distinctive aggregate of plesiomorphic and apomorphic commonalities; all branch early within the crinoid clade, separate from traditional subclass-level clades. Nevertheless, each taxon within this assemblage expresses at least one diagnostic apomorphy of camerate, cladid, or disparid clades.

Thomas E. Guensburg, Rich Mooi, and Nicolás Mongiardino Koch "Crinoid calyx origin from stem radial echinoderms," Journal of Paleontology 97(5), 1092-1115, (24 January 2024).
Accepted: 13 February 2023; Published: 24 January 2024
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