Pale biological implications of some Upper Ordovician juvenile asteroids (Echinodermata)

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Blake, D. B. 1990 10 15: Pale biological implications of some Upper Ordovician juvenile asteroids (Echinodermata). Lethaia, Vol. 23, pp. 347–357. Oslo. ISSN 0024–1164. Two patterns have been recognized in the early dorsal skeletal development of modern asteroids. The skeleton of well‐preserved juveniles of the Late Ordovician species Promopalaeaster finei is similar in fundamental ossiclar arrangement to one of these patterns, suggesting continuity of developmental sequence. Similarities include presence of large terminal ossicles and double rows of marginal ossicles. Ancient and modern juveniles differ in that in P. finei, podial pores leading to the interior of the arms are lacking, thus providing an ontogenetic argument that such pores are phylogenetically derived within the class. An unpaired interbrachial marginal, or axillary, is present distal to the oral frame; positioning supports earlier suggestions that the axillary is the homologue of the odontophore ossicle of modern asteroids. Comparisons between P. finei and another Ordovician species, Macroporaster matutinus, suggest the need for greater mouth frame flexibility contributed to the evolution of the modern odontophore. Axillary development is linked to the common absence of actinal ossicles from Paleozoic species. ▭Asteroidea, Echinodermata, functional morphology, ontogeny, phylogeny, Ordovician, Paleozoic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-357
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Palaeontology


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