DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5027/andgeoV46n2-3157

Brittle stars from the Lower Cretaceous of Patagonia: first ophiuroid articulated remains for the Mesozoic of South America

Diana Fernández, Luciana Giachetti, Sabine Stöhr, Ben Thuy, Damián Pérez, Marcos Comerio, Pablo Pazos

Abstract


The first articulated remains of ophiuroids for the Mesozoic of South America are described from the Lower Cretaceous of Neuquén Basin, Argentina. The taxonomic analysis allows the assignment of the material described herein to the extinct genus Ophiopetra. The specimens belong to a new species, but considering the poor preservation, a new name is not introduced, as it would be based on an incomplete diagnosis. Certain characteristics (e.g., the diameter of the disc, the width/height ratio of the vertebrae) suggest that these ophiuroids are paedomorphic specimens. In light of the latest classification of the Ophiuroidea, and new insights on the spine articulation microstructure of Ophiopetra lithographica presented herein, a transfer of Ophiopetra to the family Ophionereididae within the order Amphilepidida is proposed. This material expands the palaeogeographic record of this genus, since it represents the first remains of Ophiopetra described in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also the first Cretaceous record of the genus worldwide.

Keywords


Ophiuroidea, Early Cretaceous, Southern Hemisphere, Ophiopetra, Ophionereididae

How to cite this article Fernández, D.; Giachetti, L.; Stöhr, S.; Thuy, B.; Pérez, D.; Comerio, M.; Pazos, P. 2019, Brittle stars from the Lower Cretaceous of Patagonia: first ophiuroid articulated remains for the Mesozoic of South America. Andean Geology 46 (2): 421-432. [doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.5027/andgeoV46n2-3157]

 

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