Abstract

A new species of Lepidasterella, L. montanensis, is reported from the Upper Mississippian (Chesterian) Bear Gulch Limestone of central Montana. The type of Lepidasterella and the only previously known species, L. gyalum, is from the Upper Devonian of New York. Lepidasterella montanensis differs from L. gyalum in having a greater number of arms (27-35) and a relatively larger disc. Lepidasterella is removed from the Taeniactinidae and reassigned to the Hilianthasteridae. This is the first many armed asteroid (normal arm number greater than five) reported from the interval between the Upper Devonian and the Lower Jurassic. Individuals of L. montanensis were killed in their normal life orientation without any apparent disturbance. Death probably resulted from burial by storm-generated sediment.--Modified journal abstract.

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