Abstract

Despite its atypical thecal plate pattern, Lagynocystis pyramidalis (Jaekel, 1918) (Middle Ordovician, Northern Gondwanaland) is composed of normally positioned marginal plates on the left side of the theca, whereas those on the right side are shortened or missing in comparison with marginal plates of other ankyroids. The only somatic on the lower thecal surface is the CS plate. The abnormally long distal aulacophore, reduced theca, and internal ctenoid organ are interpreted as adaptations to deep water, dysaerobic environmental conditions. Ctenoid organ morphology is re-evaluated and is interpreted to have both feeding and respiratory functions. Loss of plates relative to a presumed ancestor similar to Barrandeocarpus has resulted in torsion that places somatic platelets, originally on the superior face, onto the inferior face and in contact with both CS and M'3 plates.

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