Diminutive Cambrian Echinoderms from Wheeler Formation

Ctenocystis sp. (possibly Ctenocystis utahensis)

Phylum Echinodermata; Family Ctenocystoidea

Geological Time: Middle Cambriam

Size: 2-4 mm long

Fossil Site: Wheeler Formation, House Range, Millard County, Utah

CtenocystisComing from the Cambrian Wheeler Formation deposits of Millard County, Utah this is a grouping of examples of a member of the CtenocystisCtenocystoidea, a small class of bilaterally-symmetrical stem echinoderms. Ctenocystis was a flattened rectangular animal covered with tesselated plates. It derives its named from the ctenoid (comb-like) plates that circled the oral opening. One researcher has conjectured that these plates were used to drag the animal along the seafloor. Ctenocystis is found in the same quarry as Gogia, but only occupies 3 thin (5 mm) layers, offering another example of the stem-group echinoderms to be found in the Middle Cambrian of Utah.

Also See: Utah Cambrian Explosion Fossils

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