Abstract

The new genus Avalanchia and the new species Avalanchia pterocarina, Cassowarioides anisomorpha, Cassowarioides polgari, Nehedia bergeraci, Nehedia restricta, and Nehedia tricarina are proposed from exceptionally preserved silicified faunas. Two new but unnamed rostroconch species are also described. These conocardioid rostroconchs were collected from Silurian deposits (late Llandovery to early Ludlow) near Avalanche Lake in the Mackenzie Mountains, Northwest Territories, Canada, and, when added to global rostroconch faunal lists, indicate a previously unrecognized diversity of Silurian conocardioid rostroconchs. The morphology of conocardioid rostroconchs is discussed, and a glossary of terms presented. Sexual dimorphism is recognized in species of Cassowarioides. Phylogenetic analysis of hippocardiids and bransoniids supports the monophyly of several genera. The hippocardiid genus Bigalea Pojeta and Runnegar, 1976, is recognized as paraphyletic and three species are assigned to a new genus, Redstonia. Preliminary analysis of bransoniids and hippocardiids for familial relationships, using data sets from the within-family analyses, indicates that the Bransoniidae is polyphyletic. The generic complex Mulceodens, considered to be derived bransoniid, is consistently reconstructed within a clade of derived hippocardiids.

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