Castericystis vali

Castericystis vali is a carpoid. This group of echinoderms is among the more unique types of echinoderms becaue they have bilateral symmetry. Scientists think that the tail may have been used for pushing the creature along. A few have proposed that they are related to the first vertibrates, or may even have been our ancestors. Most believe it is just an early ancestor of some classes of echinoderms. While most carpoids are symmetrical like these, there are a small boot-shaped asymmetrical group of carpoids, though I've only seen a couple pictures of such carpoids.

About the specimens

The two large carpoids are from the Middle Cambrian from the Marjum formation, Millard County, Utah. The two juvenile carpoids are also from the Middle Cambrian from the Marjum formation, though I have no info on their species or location. If anyone has a clue as to its species or genus, let me know!

My castericystis valiA couple juvenile carpoids

(left) Two carpoids. The top one appears to be rolled up with one antena sticking out. you can see the impression of its tail to the right of it. The bottom one is stretched out with one of its antennae on the left and its tail off to the right. The picture is slightly larger than actual size (Scale=approx 1:1.6). (right) Baby carpoids! A group of some partial juveniles that are either Castericystis vali or some similar carpoid. Actual size.

Back to the main page
Back to the fossil page

Suggestions?-email me.