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A land plant not a sponge: A re-evaluation of the Mississippian demosponge Vintonia and the family Vintoniidae

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 May 2016

Michael T. Dunn
Affiliation:
1Department of Environmental and Plant Biology, Ohio University, Athens 45701
Royal H. Mapes
Affiliation:
2Department of Geological Sciences, Ohio University, Athens 45701
J. K. Rigby
Affiliation:
3Department of Geology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602

Extract

In 1956 two fossil specimens were exposed in concretions associated with two crushed body chambers of the orthoconic nautiloid Rayonnoceras sp. recovered from the Fayetteville Shale (Chesterian, upper Mississippian) of northern Arkansas. The two specimens were subsequently described as a new genus and species of demosponge, Vintonia doris Nitecki and Rigby and placed in the new family Vintoniidae (Nitecki and Rigby, 1966). The specimens were described as silicified. Nitecki and Rigby's analysis, based on the presence of an assumed skeletal net resembling the spongin net of Recent sponges, suggested that the specimens were demosponges with sycon structure. The “net” was considered spongin because of its geometric pattern and cellular appearance. That interpretation led to the placement of the specimens in the Order Keratosida despite the presence of an apparently well-developed ectosomal region, a feature that is not common in the Keratosida (Nitecki and Rigby, 1966).

Type
Paleontological Notes
Copyright
Copyright © The Paleontological Society 

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A land plant not a sponge: A re-evaluation of the Mississippian demosponge Vintonia and the family Vintoniidae
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