Smith, Andrew B. Department of Paleontology, Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom.
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A monospecific order of the class Asteroidea established for Trichasteropsis weissmanni, the only Triassic asteroid known from articulated specimens. This extinct organism is a small starfish with a relatively large disk and short arms. The Trichasteropsida skeleton is differentiated into marginals, actinals, and abactinals, with the marginals being a single series of blocklike ossicles. The abactinal surface is composed of larger stellate plates and smaller rods and granules; a carinal row is present. Oral plates are large and well developed. Pedicellariae are not present. Trichasteropsis is the most primitive post-Paleozoic asteroid known and lies close to the latest common ancestor of all living asteroids. It comes from the Muschelkalk (Middle Triassic, Anisian–Ladinian) of Germany. See also: Asteroidea; Echinodermata
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