The Echinoid Directory

Family Bothriocidaridae Klem, 1904, p. 14


 Stem group ?echinoids with:

  • test composed of ambulacral platesonly; plates thick and sutures vertical
  • perradial column of imperforate ambulacral plates flanked by one or more columns of pore-bearing plates
  • pores large and surrounded by circular peripodial rim; tube feet heavily spiculated
  • no true lantern, but slender hemipyramids present
  • articulated spines associated with each pore/tube-foot.
Middle to Upper Ordovician, USA, Europe.

Bothriocidarids are the strangest of all echinoids, and in the early 20th Century there was fierce debate as to whether they really belonged in the class Echinoidea. Thanks to the detailed work of Mannil (1962) their structure is now reasonably well understood. Paul (1967) reinterpreted the test as being composed of entirely ambulacral plates, based on comparison with his new genus Neobothriocidaris. This peculiar structure distinguishes them from all other echinoids.

Mannil, R. 1962. [The morphology and taxonomy of Bothriocidaris (Echinoidea)]. Ensv Teaduste Akadeemia Geologia Instituudi Uurimused 9, 143-190 [in Russian with English summary].

Paul, C. R. C. 1967. New Ordovician Bothriocidaridae from Girvan and a reinterpretation of Bothriocidaris Eichwald. Palaeontology 10, 525-541.