Paläontologische Zeitschrift

, Volume 84, Issue 2, pp 227–237 | Cite as

The oldest stylophoran echinoderm: a new Ceratocystis from the Middle Cambrian of Germany

  • Imran Alexander Rahman
  • Samuel Zamora
  • Gerd Geyer
Research Paper

Abstract

A new stylophoran (Ceratocystis prosthiakida sp. nov.) from the early Middle Cambrian of the Franconian Forest (north-east Bavaria, Germany) is described with the aid of computed tomography, a powerful means of visualizing fossil anatomy. Investigation in this manner enabled previously inaccessible, buried parts of the fossil to be imaged and studied. In addition, a procedure for digitally correcting plate articulations was implemented. Ceratocystis prosthiakida sp. nov. possesses a thin anterior right spine which clearly differentiates it from other species of Ceratocystis. Similar to other Ceratocystis species, C. prosthiakida sp. nov. lived in storm-dominated shallow marine conditions. The species is from the Galgenberg Formation, which has an early Agdzian age in the unified West Gondwanan chronostratigraphy. As a result, it represents the oldest stylophoran known to date.

Keywords

Ceratocystis Stylophora Echinoderms Cambrian Germany 

Kurzfassung

Aus dem frühen Mittelkambrium des Frankenwaldes (Nordost-Bayern, Deutschland) wird eine neue Art der Stylophora (Ceratocystis prosthiakida sp. nov.) beschrieben, und zwar mit Hilfe der Computertomographie, einem aussagekräftigen Werkzeug zur Visualisierung anatomischer Merkmale des Fossils. Die Untersuchungen mit dieser Methode erlaubten es, bisher nicht zugängliche, überdeckte Teile des Fossils darzustellen und zu studieren. Zusätzlich wurde eine Prozedur zur digitalen Korrektur von Plattenartikulationen angewandt. Ceratocystis prosthiakida sp. nov. hat einen schlanken anterioren rechten Stachel, der die Art eindeutig von anderen Arten der Gattung Ceratocystis unterscheidet. Ähnlich wie die anderen Arten von Ceratocystis lebte C. prosthiakida sp. nov. in Sturm-dominierten flachmarinen Lebensräumen. Die Art stammt aus der Galgenberg-Formation, die ein Alter des frühen Agdziums nach der chronostratigraphischen Gliederung West-Gondwanas hat. Folglich ist sie die älteste bisher bekannte Stylophore.

Schlüsselwörter

Ceratocystis Stylophora Echinodermen Kambrium Deutschland 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Devashish Fuloria and Richard Hamilton (Imperial College London) for XMT analysis and Isabel Pérez (Universidad de Zaragoza) for preparing the photographs used in Fig. 4. We also thank Eladio Liñán (Universidad de Zaragoza) and Mark D. Sutton (Imperial College London) for supervision and comments, and three anonymous reviewers. Imran A. Rahman acknowledges the Natural Environment Research Council (NER/S/A/2005/13593) and Samuel Zamora the Gobierno de Aragón and CAI (European Program) for financial support. This work is a contribution to the Project Consolíder MURERO number CGL2006-12975/BTE from MEC of Spain-FEDER-EU and Grupo Consolidado E-17 from Gobierno de Aragón.

Supplementary material

Video 1

X-ray microtomography (XMT) tomograms of Ceratocystis prosthiakida sp. nov. (MPG 2538 kb)

12542_2009_39_MOESM2_ESM.mpg (3.4 mb)
Video 2 Rotating animation of the original virtual reconstruction of Ceratocystis prosthiakida sp. nov. (MPG 3498 kb)
12542_2009_39_MOESM3_ESM.mpg (4.6 mb)
Video 3 Rotating animation of the corrected virtual reconstruction of Ceratocystis prosthiakida sp. nov. (MPG 4682 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Imran Alexander Rahman
    • 1
  • Samuel Zamora
    • 2
  • Gerd Geyer
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Earth Science and EngineeringImperial College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Área y Museo de Paleontología, Departamento de Ciencias de la TierraUniversidad de ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  3. 3.Bayerisches Landesamt für Umwelt, Geologischer DienstHofGermany
  4. 4.Institutionen för geovetenskaperUppsala UniversitetUppsalaSweden

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