Late Cambrian – Permian
Conulariidae is an extinct family of stationary epifaunal suspension feeders
Description of the Family
- Pyramidal form, square or subquadrate
- Transverse lirae or ribs
- Shells contracted towards the operculum
- Mesial line on each side
Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part F (1956):
- Steep-sided pyramidal forms, mostly with quadrangular cross section, faces generally marked by evident transverse lirae or ribs which are deflected adaperturally in crossing morphological feature; aperture closable by inward bending of facial periderm and apical extremity may consist of smoothly rounded diaphragm (Schott).
Miller & Gurley (1896):
- The shells are pyramidal, and vary, in different species, from square and subquadrate, to octagonal and somewhat rounded. They expand slowly or rapidly in different species, and, so far as known, are contracted near the mouth. The mouth appears to have been very large, and no operculum or other shelly covering has ever been found belonging to it. We have examined more than one hundred specimens of Conularia and have never seen the mouth of a single shell, so that what we have said about the mouth is on the authority of others. No muscular scar has ever been found inside the shell or on a cast, by which the animal was attached to the shell. The four angles of the shell are more or less furrowed, and a mesial line, on each side, is always indicated, and sometimes it amounts to a furrow. The shells are ornamented with transverse lines and furrows and costae, some of which are smooth, others are crenulated, and all are more or less arched toward the mouth. The texture of the shell is horny, with lime-phosphate. The phosphate is conspicuous, in the outer layer. The phosphatic appearance is more strongly marked in some groups of rocks than in others, which is likewise true concerning the horny texture, which, sometimes, as in C. greenei, resembles the test of a crustacean. The genus Conularia is so distinct from all others that no other genus has ever been confounded with it. It is the only genus in the family Conulariidae. Anyone having ordinary perceptive faculties, after having carefully examined a specimen belonging to any species of Conularia, can tell a Conularia wherever he sees it, no matter to what species it belongs. This cannot be done with any other fossil specimen from the palaeozoic rocks except, possibly, a Bellerophon or an Orthoceras.