Aboral nervous system in two Ordovician crinoids: Reconstruction and comparison of Baltic Pentamerocrinus Jaekel and Grammocrinus Eichwald
Two unusual Middle Ordovician crinoid genera from the St. Petersburg Region, Pentamerocrinus Jaekel, 1918 and Grammocrinus Eichwald, 1860, are redescribed. A new species, Pentamerocrinus kosovi sp. nov., is described based on new material and the cup structure in the type species Grammocrinus lineatus, which has previously been known only from stem fragments, is reconstructed. The system of ridges and canals on the internal surface of the cup plates in both genera is described, allowing the reconstruction of the aboral nervous system. It is in general similar to extant crinoids, but the two Ordovician genera differ considerably in structural details. In Pentamerocrinus, ten nerve cords diverge interradially from the ganglionated nerve ring at the cup base and soon are fused in pairs inside the rays. In Grammocrinus, a similar nerve ring also gives rise to ten cords, but they are inside the rays and become fused in the interrays. This distinction in morphology of the nervous systems is correlated with the interradial arrangement of the axial canal angles of the stem in the first case and radial in the second. Therefore, despite general similarity in the structure and arrangement of calyceal plates, the genus Grammocrinus is assigned to the disparid crinoid family Iocrinidae, while the monotypic family Pentamerocrinidae Jaekel, 1918 is regarded as a fam. inc. sed. of inadunate crinoids.
KeywordsCrinoidea morphology column axial canal cup nervous system Ordovician Baltic
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