The origin of the spiriferidine brachiopods



Wright, Anthony D. 197901 15: The origin of the spiriferidine brachiopods. Lethaia. Vol. 12. pp. 29–33. Oslo. ISSN 0024–1164.

In recent years doubts have been expressed as to whether the strophic spiriferidines should continue to be grouped with the non-strophic spiriferids in the order Spiriferida or not. The solution to this problem will only be found by establishing the origin of the spiriferidines. A characteristic feature of the spiriferidines is their well developed micro-ornament; this is shared also by the orthid Platystrophiinae, and together with the striking similarity in overall morphology (well recognized in the early nineteenth century) it suggests that here, in the Platystrophia plexus, is the ancestral stock of the strophic spirebearers.

The Platystrophünae share with the non-strophic Rhynchonellida the potential to develop a spire. It is here considered that the former gave rise to the spiriferidines and the latter to the non-strophic spire-bearers. These quite separate developments justify the separation of the spire-bearers into the two orders Spiriferida and Atrypida.