1 January 2014 Diploporite (Echinodermata, Blastozoa) Thecal Attachment Structures from the Silurian of Southeastern Indiana
James R. Thomka, Carlton E. Brett
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Taxonomic descriptions of diploporites from the middle Silurian of eastern Laurentia have focused nearly entirely on thecal plating, with minimal description or figuring of attachment structures. A recently discovered hardground surface within the Wenlock-age (Sheinwoodian) Massie Formation that is encrusted by numerous well-preserved pelmatozoan holdfasts, including structures identifiable as diploporite thecal attachments, provides an opportunity to document the morphology of these rarely described structures. Moderately thin-walled structures with a parabolic, depressed central area composed of seven distinct marginal plates with prominent pores appear to represent thecal attachments of the broad-based trematocystinid holocystitid Paulicystis. Thick-walled, steep-sided structures composed of five to seven fused or partially fused plates with less prominent pores, a deep stelar depression, and radiating canals appear to represent thecal attachments of undetermined, possibly holocystinid or pentacystinid holocystitids. All diploporite holdfasts are cemented to fine-grained, well-sorted skeletal substrates on elevated crests of the hardground surface, but are not found on microbioherms.

James R. Thomka and Carlton E. Brett "Diploporite (Echinodermata, Blastozoa) Thecal Attachment Structures from the Silurian of Southeastern Indiana," Journal of Paleontology 88(1), 179-186, (1 January 2014). https://doi.org/10.1666/12-142
Accepted: 1 July 2013; Published: 1 January 2014
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