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REVISION OF LYRACYSTID EOCRINOIDS FROM THE MIDDLE CAMBRIAN OF SOUTH CHINA AND WESTERN LAURENTIA
JAMES SPRINKLE, RONALD L. PARSLEY, YUANLONG ZHAO and JIN PENG
Journal of Paleontology
Vol. 85, No. 2 (MARCH 2011), pp. 250-255
Published by: Paleontological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23020041
Page Count: 6
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The Middle Cambrian eocrinoid genera Lyracystis Sprinkle and Collins, 2006, from western Laurentia and Balangicystis Parsley and Zhao, 2006, from South China, described in the same year, have turned out to be closely related genera assigned to the Family Lyracystidae. Both have erect, lyre-shaped, arm-like, brachiole-bearing, feeding appendages, here termed exothecal ambulacra, that are not homologous to crinoid arms. They also have a long, multiplated stalk to elevate the theca and feeding appendages well above the sea floor, making them among the highest tiered echinoderm suspension feeders known from the Middle Cambrian. The long stalk was either inserted a short distance into the muddy sediment, or attached to rare skeletal fragments lying on the sea floor. Both genera seem well adapted to quiet-water or slow-current conditions in deeper water (150—200 m) on the outer shelf or upper slope of their respective continents.
Journal of Paleontology © 2011 Paleontological Society