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The genus Teliocrinus (Crinoidea, Echinodermata): a key taxon among pentacrinid stalked crinoids
Roux, M.; Améziane, N.; Eleaume, M. (2009). The genus Teliocrinus (Crinoidea, Echinodermata): a key taxon among pentacrinid stalked crinoids. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 155(1): 22-39.
In: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. Academic Press: London. ISSN 0024-4082, more
Peer reviewed article

Available in Authors 

    Evolution; Fossils; Ontogeny; Taxonomy; Echinodermata [WoRMS]; Marine

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  • Roux, M.
  • Améziane, N.
  • Eleaume, M.

    The main characters of the stalked crinoids of the family Pentacrinitidae attributed to the genus Teliocrinus are re-evaluated from a quantitative study of phenotype variation, new observations on arm and stalk articulations, and observation of ontogenetic trends. All of the specimens collected in the northern Indian Ocean belong to the same species, i.e. Teliocrinus springeri (Clark, 1909). However, two phenotypes living at different depths remain valid as subspecies: Teliocrinus springeri springeri (Clark, 1909) and Teliocrinus springeri liliaceus (Clark, 1909). Teliocrinus shares several ontogenetic trends with Endoxocrinus, especially in nonfunctional brachial articulations and stalk symplexies. Its assignment to the Diplocrininae is confirmed. A discussion of its affinities with pentacrinid fossil genera in which the crown is well preserved suggests that Diplocrininae could have first appeared during the Lower Cretaceous. A shortening of brachitaxes and a paedomorphic trend of stalk symplexies are the main other evolutionary traits. Nonfunctional articulations are frequently found at the paedomorphic pole of the heterochronic gradient, without clear derived characters. Classification of pentacrinids mainly based on such symplesiomorphy or paedomorphic characters must be definitively abandoned. However, in post-Palaeozoic stalked crinoids the scarcity of well-preserved fossils, the high frequency of paedomorphy, and convergent adaptive characters makes phylogenetic reconstruction only based on morphological characters very difficult and speculative.

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