Germanasterias amplipapularia and Hystrixasterias hettangiurnus are new genera and species of Asteriidae (Asteroidea: Forcipulatida) described from the Hettangian (lowest Jurassic) of southern Germany. They are among the oldest known relatively complete asteroids assignable to surviving families, yet they are remarkably similar to certain living species. Modern asteriids are efficient predators of sessile and slow-moving stoutly-armored mullusks, however much asteriid morphology is suggested to have originated with suspension-feeding habits. The lineage leading to the modern Forcipulatacea might have separated from that of the remainder of the modern asteroids as early as the Carboniferous.
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