Abstract

The small crinoidal patch reef in the Bird Spring Formation near the mouth of Battleship Wash, Clark County, Nevada, has yielded the largest Early Permian crinoid fauna known in North America. Earlier studies of the fauna were based on 535 specimens. Additional collecting has yielded another 239 specimens. These new specimens provide new information about some of the earlier described species and include three new genera and seven new species, bringing the total recognized in the Battleship Wash fauna to 37 genera and 62 species. Representatives of the camerates, disparids, primitive cladids (cyathocrinitids and dendrocrinids), advanced cladids (formerly poteriocriniids), flexibles, and articulates are recognized in the Battleship Wash fauna.

Of particular significance among these new specimens is the presence of an actinocrinid. A specimen formerly identified from the fauna is here recognized as an articulate. This is the first report of an actinocrinid and an articulate from the Permian of North America. Based on the abundance of large specimens of cladids with 10 or more arms, the Battleship Wash fauna is interpreted to have lived in a nearshore high energy shelf environment, which agrees with the paleogeographic position previously recognized for the Bird Spring Formation.

New taxa introduced are: Poteriocrinites permicus n. sp., Bridgerocrinidae n. fam., Ekteinocrinus battleshipensis n. gen. and sp., Arroyocrius brachiatus n. sp., Plummericrinus jelli n. sp., Plummericrinus? bulbosus n. sp., Aesiocrinidae n. fam., Elassocrinus cyathus n. gen. and sp., Oklahomacrinus triangulus n. sp., and Pentaxocrinus quinarius n. gen. and comb.

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