Phylum: Brachiopoda
Class: Craniata (Williams & others, 1996)
Cincinnatian Orders: Craniida, Craniopsida

Geologic Range
Lower Cambrian, Middle Cambrian, Ordovician – Holocene

Common Paleoecology
Craniata is an extinct class of stationary, epifaunal suspension feeders.

Characteristics of the Class

  • Calcitic or Aragonitic
  • Free lying or encrusting
  • Laminar (tabular) secondary layers
  • Normally pinnate and containing gonads

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Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part H, Vol. 2 (2000):

  • Brachiopods with calcitic or possibly aragonitic inarticulated shells with laminar (tabular) secondary layers; posterior body wall complete, inner mantle lobes not developed at valve margins, pedicle not developed, shell free lying or with encrusting ventral valve cemented by larval epithelium; muscle system with a single pair of internal oblique and with paired outside lateral muscles attached anteriorly to the body wall; alimentary tract more or less axial with anus medially on posterior body wall; lophophore initially with median tentacle lost during growth, tentacles in double row in postrocholophous growth stages only; nervous system in base of epidermis with paired subenteric ganglia; mantle canal systems with vascula terminalia peripheral only, normally pinnate, containing gonads; larva lecithotrophic without shell.

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