Earth and Life pp 557-584 | Cite as

Devonian Cladid Crinoid Evolution, Diversity, and First and Last Occurrences: Summary Observations

  • Gary D. WebsterEmail author
Part of the International Year of Planet Earth book series (IYPE)


New discoveries and systematic revisions since the 1978 publication of the crinoid volumes of the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology provide new information about Devonian cladid crinoid evolution, diversity, and first and last occurrences. Summarizing these previous studies resulted in numerous conclusions, including the following. The overall diversity of the Devonian cladids does not reflect the diversity acmes and extinction patterns of the individual superfamilies within the Cyathocrinida and Dendrocrinida. Cyathocrinoidea and Codiacrinoida genera were minor elements in the diversity of Devonian Cyathocrinida that were dominated by Gasterocomoidea (acme in the Eifelian) genera. The Gasterocomidae and Cupressocrinitidae are a clade restricted to the Devonian and Early Mississippian. Primitive Dendrocrinids were replaced in the Devonian by the Glossocrinoidea (referred to as Transitional Dendrocrinids); the Advanced Dendrocrinids and articulates first occurred in the Devonian. Morphologic and stratigraphic differences justify systematic differentiation between these groups. The last occurrences of cladid genera were greater in the Emsian and Givetian than they were in the Frasnian with the exception of the gasterocomids. Advanced cladids with plesiomorphic conical cups are thought to be derived from the Transitional Dendrocrinids, whereas the evolution of those with bowl-shaped cups is uncertain, but may be from the cyathocrinids. Time gaps in the ranges of carry-through genera and the sparse record in the Lochkovian and Pragian suggest stratigraphic intervals for future research to help resolve evolutionary and taxonomic questions in the cladids.


Cyathocrinida Reassignment of genera Lochkovian–Pragian data deficiency Emsian–Eifelian diversity maximum End-Givetian extinction Famennian rebound  Predicted latest Devonian bothocrinoids 



Jan Bohatý provided new insights into the gasterocomids and Tom Kammer suggested addition of the graphs. Helpful reviews by both are gratefully acknowledged. Paul Olin kindly gave advice on construction of the graphics.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Earth and Environmental SciencesWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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