Swiss Journal of Palaeontology

, Volume 133, Issue 1, pp 23–34 | Cite as

Origin and radiation of the comatulids (Crinoidea) in the Jurassic

  • Hans HessEmail author


The early history of the comatulids is discussed based on recently described Jurassic specimens. Their centrodorsals suggest that the Order Comatulida is a monophyletic, synapomorphic clade that originated with Palaeocomaster from stem group pentacrinitids and not from a paracomatulid ancestor. A pentacrinitid is also considered ancestor to Paracomatula. As a result Paracomatulidae are classified with Pentacrinitina, making Paracomatuloidea redundant as a suborder of Comatulida. Palaeocomaster paucicirrus n. sp. from the Toarcian/Aalenian of Quedlinburg, northern Germany, and Palaeocomaster benthuyi n. sp. from the Pliensbachian of Sedan, France, are described as new.


Comatulids Paracomatulids Phylogeny Taxonomy 



I am very grateful to Andy Gale (Portsmouth) for the Sedan specimen and to Manfred Kutscher (Sassnitz) for providing the Quedlinburg specimens described in the present paper. I am indebted to Daniel Burckhardt (Basel) for advice on cladistics. I sincerely thank the reviewers Hans Hagdorn and Mike Simms for their constructive comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. My best thanks are to Evi Bieler, Zentrum für Mikroskopie of the University of Basel, for the excellent SEM photographs.


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Copyright information

© Akademie der Naturwissenschaften Schweiz (SCNAT) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Naturhistorisches Museum BaselBaselSwitzerland

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