Theses and Dissertations

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Defense Date

12-17-2008

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

First Advisor

Charles G. Messing

Second Advisor

Richard E. Dodge

Third Advisor

Tatsuo Oji

Abstract

The morphology of members of the isocrinid genus, Endoxocrinus, found by A.H. Clark, 1908, in the Bahamas was examined to see if current classification schemes are valid. Individuals included in this survey belonged to the current species Endoxocrinus prionodes, Endoxocrinus carolinae, and Endoxocrinus parrae. Additionally, individuals of two depth-related morphotypes of E. parrae were examined. Evidence is presented that suggests that E. carolinae should be included in E. parrae, while the validity of E. prionodes is maintained. No evidence was found to warrant the recognition of the two depth-related morphotypes as distinct. Rather, these forms, as well as traditional E. parrae and E. carolinae, encompassed a high degree of variability along a morphological continuum. The study concludes that a revision of the genus should be considered and that isocrinid species can be much more variable in morphology than was previously recognized.

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