Paleontologists were able to create an accurate 3-D computer reconstruction of the fossil, which aimed to provide them insights into the early evolution of sea cucumbers, scientifically known as echinoderms
6 creatures with leathery skin and an elongated body containing a single, branched gonad.
with non-feeding developmental stages have evolved numerous times from species with feeding larvae (Mortensen, 1921; Strathmann, 1974, 1975, 1978; Hendler, 1982; Mladenov, 1985; Wray and Raff, 1991; Wray, 1996; Smith, 1997; McEdward and Miner, 2001).
Benthic Foraminifera; Assilina dandotica, Assilina laminosa, Assilina leymerie, Assilina spinosa, Nummulites globulus Leymerie, Nummulites atacicus Leymerie, Nummulites mammalitus, Discocyclina dispansa, Discocyclina ranikotensis, Lockhartia conditi, Operculina, Bigenerina, Miliolids, Textularia and Planktic Foraminifera; Globigerina along with some echinoderms
and algal fragments often embedded in sparry calcite or lime mud.
Geobiology of Echinoderms
. Paleontological Society Papers 3.
Bivalves and gastropods get their own sections, with a third for "echinoderms
, crustaceans, and other beach treasures"--think shark teeth and sea glass, among other small coastal delights.
Deuterostomes includes echinoderms
(sea urchins and starfish) and chordates (creatures with a backbone).
That could spell bad news for current shelf inhabitants, such as sea stars and other spiny-skinned echinoderms
. "Because other creatures on the continental shelf have evolved without shell-crushing predators, if the crabs moved in, they could radically restructure the ecosystem," Aronson said.
Its marine and coastal environment hosts 272 species-158 species of gastropods (snails and slugs), 15 bivalves (clams, mussels and oysters), 12 crustaceans, 13 echinoderms
(starfish, sea cucumber and sea urchins), a sea slug, 26 corals, five turtles and 42 species of fish.
Silurian hardgrounds are dominated by bryozoans and echinoderms
, particularly crinoids (Taylor & Wilson 2003), but late Silurian (Pridoli) hardground faunas include also numerous microconchids (Vinn & Wilson 2010) (Table 1).
Bioclasts are small agglutinated forams and miliolids, fragments of serpulids, echinoderms
, ostreids and other bivalves, gastropods, brachiopods, corals and sponges.
What appears to be a delicately arched human back is instead a succession of graphite-covered echinoderms
(Standing Knobby Starfish, 2015).