The last meal of the Late Ordovician mollusc ‘Helminthochitonthraivensis Reed, 1911, from the Lady Burn Starfish Beds, southwest Scotland



An exceptional specimen of the Late Ordovician mollusc ‘Helminthochitonthraivensis Reed, from the Katian of the Lady Burn Starfish Beds, southwest Scotland, preserves gut contents that include nine pelmatozoan ossicles. These are interpreted as including two nodal and five internodal columnals, and two radice ossicles from the attachment structure. The stem was cyclocyclic and heteromorphic, possibly N212. Radice ossicles were wider than the height of nodals, so radice scars must have encroached onto the latera of adjacent internodals. These features were compared with the 26 known pelmatozoan taxa from the Lady Burn Starfish Beds. Paracrinoids (one species) and glyptocystitid rhombiferans (six species) were discounted as prey because of their cemented attachment, and incorrect columnal morphology and lack of attachment, respectively. Of 19 species of crinoids, eight are discounted in which the column is pentagonal, tetragonal or unknown. Of the remaining 11 species, only the monobathrid camerate Macrostylocrinus cirrifer Ramsbottom satisfies all criteria for identification of the prey, including heteromorphy and radice scars encroaching adjacent internodals. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.