Upper Ordovician (Katian) strata of the Lake Simcoe region of Ontario record a spectacularly diverse and abundant echinoderm fauna known as the Brechin Lagerstätte. Despite recognition as the most taxonomically diverse Katian crinoid paleocommunity, the Brechin Lagerstätte has received relatively little taxonomic study since Frank Springer published his classic monograph on the “Kirkfield fauna” in 1911.
Using a new collection of exceptionally preserved material, we evaluate all dicyclic inadunate crinoids occurring in the Brechin Lagerstätte, which is predominantly comprised of cladids (Eucladida and Flexibilia). We document 15 species across 11 genera, including descriptions of two new genera and four new species. New taxa include Konieckicrinus brechinensis n. gen. n. sp., K. josephi n. gen. n. sp., Simcoecrinus mahalaki n. gen. n. sp., and Dendrocrinus simcoensis n. sp.
Although cladids are not commonly considered major components of the Early Paleozoic Crinoid Macroevolutionary Fauna, which is traditionally conceived as dominated by disparids and diplobathrid camerates, they are the most diverse major lineage of crinoids occurring in the Brechin Lagerstätte. This unexpected result highlights the important roles of specimen-based taxonomy and systematic revisions in the study of large-scale diversity patterns.