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Abstract

The end−Permian mass extinction constituted a major event in the history of crinoids. It led to the demise of the major Paleozoic crinoid groups including cladids, disparids, flexibles and camerates. It is widely accepted that a single lineage, derived from a late Paleozoic cladid ancestor (Ampelocrinidae), survived this mass extinction. Holocrinid crinoids ( Holocrinus , Holocrinida) along with recently described genus Baudicrinus (Encrinida), the only crinoid groups known from the Early Tria ssic, are considered the stem groups for the post−Paleozoic monophyletic subc lass Articulata. Here, we report preliminary data on unexpectedly diverse crinoid faunas comprisin g at least four orders from the Lower Triassic (Induan and Olenekian) of Svalbard, extending their stratigraphic ranges deeper into the early Mesozoic. These findings strongly imply that the recovery of crinoids in the aftermath of the end−Permian extinction began much earlier at higher palaeolatitudes than in the central Tethys.
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