Supplementary material from "Relict from the Jurassic: new family of brittle-stars from a New Caledonian seamount"

Posted on 02.06.2021 - 11:27
The deep-seafloor in the tropical Indo-Pacific harbours a rich and diverse benthic fauna with numerous palaeo-endemics. Here, we describe a new species, genus and family of brittle-star (Ophiuroidea) from a single eight-armed specimen collected from a depth between 360 and 560 m on Banc Durand, a seamount east of New Caledonia. Leveraging a robust, fossil-calibrated (273 kbp DNA) phylogeny for the Ophiuroidea, we estimate the new lineage diverged from other ophiacanthid families in the Late Triassic or Jurassic (median = 187–178 Myr, 95% CI = 215–143 Myr), a period of elevated diversification for this group. We further report very similar microfossil remains from Early Jurassic (180 Myr) sediments of Normandy, France. The discovery of a new ancient lineage in the relatively well-known Ophiuroidea indicates the importance of ongoing taxonomic research in the deep-sea, an environment increasingly threatened by human activities.

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O'Hara, Timothy D.; Thuy, Ben; Hugall, Andrew F. (2021): Supplementary material from "Relict from the Jurassic: new family of brittle-stars from a New Caledonian seamount". The Royal Society. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5448691.v1
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