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Rautangaroa, a new genus of feather star (Echinodermata, Crinoidea) from the Oligocene of New Zealand

  • Tomasz K. Baumiller (a1) and R. Ewan Fordyce (a2)

We describe a nearly complete, and thus extremely rare, feather star (Crinoidea, Comatulida) from Oligocene strata of North Otago/South Canterbury, New Zealand. A detailed analysis of this specimen, as well as newly recovered material and previously described fragmentary remains from nearby contemporaneous sedimentary units, in addition to relevant historical specimens, lead us to conclude that it cannot be placed in any currently established genus. A new genus, Rautangaroa, is proposed to accommodate it.

This intact specimen of Rautangaroa aotearoa (Eagle, 2007), provides rare data on the morphology of arms and cirri. It represents the first example of arm autotomy and regeneration in a fossil feather star and thus has bearing on the importance of predation to the evolutionary history of this group.


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