MUSEO ARGENTINO DE CIENCIAS NATURALES "BERNARDINO RIVADAVIA"
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
An Early Cretaceous astropectinid (Echinodermata, Asteroidea) from Patagonia (Argentina): a new species and the oldest record of the family for the Southern Hemisphere
FERNÁNDEZ DIANA E.; PÉREZ DAMIAN E.; LETICIA LUCI; CARRIZO MARTIN A.
SERVICIO NACIONAL GEOLOGIA MINERVA
Lugar: Santiago de Chile; Año: 2014 vol. 41 p. 210 - 210
Asterozoans are free living, star-shaped echinoderms which are important components of benthic marine faunas worldwide. Their fossil record is, however, poor and fragmentary, probably due to dissarticulation of ossicles. In particular, fossil asteroids are infrequent in South America. A new species of starfish is reported from the early Valanginian of the Mulichinco Formation, Neuquén Basin, in the context of a shallow-water, storm-dominated shoreface environment. The specimen belongs to the Astropectinidae, and was assigned to a new species within the genus Tethyaster Sladen, T. antares sp. nov., characterized by a R:r ratio of 2.43:1, rectangular marginals wider in the interbrachial angles, inferomarginals (28 pairs along a median arc) with slightly convex profile and flat spines (one per ossicle in the interbrachials and two per ossicle in the arms). Both the sedimentologic features of the bearing bed, and the taphonomic signature point to a rapid burial. Considering the presence of well-developed fascioles, it is likely that the specimen was already half buried at the beginning of its taphonomic pathway. This record represents the oldest finding of Astropectinidae in the Southern Hemisphere and the first record of the genus Tethyaster for the Lower Cretaceous of South America.