Abstract

A series of small road cuts of lower Boyle Formation (Middle Devonian: Givetian) near Waco, Kentucky, has produced numerous specimens of three blastozoan clades, including both “anachronistic” diploporan and rhombiferan “cystoids” and relatively advanced Granatocrinid blastoids. This unusual assemblage occurs within a basal grainstone unit of the Boyle Limestone, apparently recording a local shoal deposit. Diploporans, the most abundant articulated echinoderms, are represented by a new protocrinitid species, Tristomiocystis globosus n. gen. and sp. Glyptocystitoid rhombiferans are represented by isolated thecal plates assignable to Callocystitidae. Three species of blastoids, all previously undescribed, include numerous thecae of the schizoblastid Hydroblastus hendyi n. gen. and sp., the rare nucleocrinid Nucleocrinus bosei n. sp., and an enigmatic troosticrinid radial. The blastoid Nucleocrinus is typical for the age; however, the callocystitid, schizoblastid, and protocrinitid are not. Hydroblastus is the oldest known schizoblastid. Middle and Upper Devonian callocystitids have been previously reported only from Iowa and Michigan USA with unpublished reports from Missouri USA and the Northwest Territories, Canada. This occurrence is thus the first report of a Middle Devonian rhombiferan from the Appalachian foreland basin. Tristomiocystis is the first known protocrinitid in North America and the only protocrinitid younger than Late Ordovician. This occurrence thus represents a range extension of nearly 50 million years for protocrinids. This extraordinary sample of echinoderms in a Middle Devonian limestone from a well-studied area of North America highlights the incompleteness of the known fossil record, at least in fragile organisms such as echinoderms.

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