Skip navigation

The NaturePlus Forums will be offline from mid August 2018. The content has been saved and it will always be possible to see and refer to archived posts, but not to post new items. This decision has been made in light of technical problems with the forum, which cannot be fixed or upgraded.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to the very great success of the forums and to the community spirit there. We plan to create new community features and services in the future so please watch this space for developments in this area. In the meantime if you have any questions then please email:

Fossil enquiries:
Life Sciences & Mineralogy enquiries:
Commercial enquiries:

Currently Being Moderated

Palaeontology Seminar


Deciphering the early evolution of echinoderms using Cambrian taxa


Dr. Samuel Zamora,

Department of Palaeontology, NHM



THURSDAY 10th November
Neil Chalmers Seminar Room (DC2 LG16)

16:00 - 17:00



Echinoderms (e.g., sea urchins and starfishes) are a major component of the modern seas and have an impressive fossil record that goes back to the lower Cambrian (520 Mya). Despite this well documented history, the earliest steps in their evolution remain poorly documented. Although both ontogeny and sister-group relationships indicate that echinoderms must have had passed through a bilateral stage in their ancestry, there has been no fossil record to provide the empirical proof that this stage existed. Indeed, the earliest fossil echinoderms are all radial or asymmetric forms. However, there are significant problems concerning the completeness of the Cambrian record of fossil echinoderms. Newly discovered fossils from Gondwana are bilaterally symmetrical echinoderms and represent the most primitive members of the group. Thus all three lines of evidence (ontogeny, sister-group relationships and palaeontology) are in agreement and show that the most primitive echinoderms were bilateral rather than radial.



For additional details on attending this seminar see

Comments (0)