Extant comatulid (stalkless) crinoids consist of approximately 530 species, classified in 143 genera and 18 families (Clark, 1931, 1941, 1947, 1950; Clark and Clark, 1967; Messing and White, 2001). Recent comatulids account for almost 85% of all the extant crinoid species (comatulids plus stalked crinoids), and their taxonomy is currently being extensively revised (e.g., Hoggett and Rowe, 1986; Rowe et al., 1986; Messing and White, 2001). In stark contrast to such a high extant diversity, records of fossil comatulids are far less common. This is partly due to their low...

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