Three new starfish (Skiaster vikingr n. gen., n. sp., Betelgeusia exposita n. sp., and Aldebarania taberna n. sp.), and the first fossil occurrence of Cheiraster? sp., are recorded from Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous) and Danian (Early Paleogene) rocks of The Netherlands and Denmark. Skiaster vikingr, a member of the goniasterid subfamily Pseudarchasterinae, adds to the known diversity and apparent significance of that subfamily. Betelgeusia exposita is the second Cretaceous species of the Radiasteridae to be described; together, the two species suggest that this now infrequently encountered deep-water family was of greater significance in the past. Morphology and occurrences of Betelgeusia suggest niches similar to those now occupied by Astropecten, Aldebarania taberna (Astropectinidae) is similar to A. arenitea from eastern North America, suggesting communication across a narrower North Atlantic. Cheiraster? sp. (Benthopectinidae) provides added support for shelf occurrence during the Cretaceous of this now deep-water family; it is a member of the Neobenthopectininae, indicating Mesozoic presence of derived benthopectinids. Reflecting earlier work, the present study suggests gradual emergence of the modern asteroid fauna during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic without major terminal Cretaceous extinction.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Bulletin de l'Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belqique, Sciences de la Terre|
|State||Published - 2005|
- The Netherlands
ASJC Scopus subject areas