Helicoplacus guthi

This figure shows the holotype (and only know specimen) of the Lower Cambrian echinoderm Helicoplacus guthi. (The lower case g is standard for species names, and the ending i makes it Latin possessive). The fossil is about 3.3 cm high (a little over an inch). As noted in Durham (1993, p.601), the species name honors the collector, Peter Guth.

Note the helically spiraling rows of plates radiating from the base, which in life probably was anchored in the muddy substrate.

The fossil comes from the Lower Cambrian Poleta Formation of eastern California.

Durham, J.W., 1993, Observations on the Early Cambrian helicoplacoid echinoderms: Journal of Paleontology, vol.67, no.4, pp.590-603.

Wilbur, B.C., 2006, Reduction in the number of Early Cambrian helicoplacoid species: Palaeoworld, Vol 15, No  3-4,  p. 283-293. doi:10.1016/j.palwor.2006.10.009

Last Update: 5/23/2015