A goniasterid starfish (Echinodermata, Asteroidea) preserved in a mid-Miocene rhyolitic ignimbrite, northwest Romania

John W. M. Jagt, Vlad Codrea

Abstract


Awell-preserved, near-complete goniasterid asteroid, provisionally referred to the genus Ceramaster, is recorded from a rhyolitic ignimbrite assigned to the Dej Tuff Formation, exposed near Ciceu Giurgeşti (northwest Romania). The main interest of this specimen lies in the fact that it constitutes a rare example of preservation of (shallow-) marine biota, and echinoderms in particular, in volcanic strata. Superficially, overall disc shape and size, as well as ornament of marginal and abactinal ossicles, resemble to some extent that of coeval and slightly younger material from the Paratethys (south-central Poland, Austria) and the North Sea Basin (northwest Belgium), previously assigned to Ceramaster. So far, only the Polish andAustrian material has been formally named; however, this might actually represent but a single species. The record from Belgium refers to a form which is either conspecific with C. muelleri from the Paratethys, or represents a closely related taxon. These, and associated asteroids (e.g.,Astropectinidae, Luidiidae), are in need of a modern taxonomic revision and a reappraisal of their palaeoecology is called for as well.


Keywords


Miocene; Romania; Echinoderms; Asteroids; Comparisons; Volcanic strata; Preservation.

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