Archaeocyathus atlanticus, from CNRS.

Belongs within: Porifera.
Contains: Monocyathida, Capsulocyathida, Ajacicyathida, Cribricyathida, Vologdinophyllida, Archaeocyathida.

The Archaeocyatha are sessile organisms known from the Cambrian that possessed a more or less cup-shaped body form. Most recent authors have regarded the archaeocyaths as sponges, though earlier researchers have aligned them with corals or even excluded them from the animals.

Characters (from Taylor 2010): Two concentric walls (an inner and an outer) enclosing a central cavity. Intervallum generally crossed by vertical septa. Whole structure usually highly perforate.

<==Archaeocyatha [Archaeocyathinae]
    |  i. s.: Aldanocyathus Voronin 1971D78
    |           `--*A. sunnaginicus [=Ajacicyathus sunnaginicus]D78
    |         Okulitchicyathus Zhuravleva 1960D78
    |         Robustacyathus Zhuravleva 1960D78
    |    |--MonocyathidaRB93
    |    |--CapsulocyathidaRB93
    |    `--AjacicyathidaRB93
    |    |--CribricyathidaWS93
    |    |--VologdinophyllidaWS93
    |    `--Conoidocyathidae [Conoidocyathida]WS93
    |         |--Pubericyathus phialiformis Vologdin 1964WS93
    |         |--Azyricyathus transeptatus Vologdin 1964WS93
    |         `--ConoidocyathusWS93
    |              |--C. artus Vologdin 1964WS93
    |              `--C. plumosus Vologdin 1966WS93
         |  i. s.: LoculicyathidaeRB93
         |           |--Okulichicyathus discoformis (Zhuravleva 1955)RB93
         |           |--Antarcticocyathus webersi Debrenne & Rozanov in Debrenne et al. 1984RB93
         |           `--Loculicyathus alternusR22
         |         Anthomorpha [Anthomorphidae]RB93
         |           `--A. margarita Bornemann 1884RB93
         |         DictyocyathidaeRB93
         |           |--Molybdocyathus juvenalis Debrenne & Gangloff 1990RB93
         |           `--DictyocyathusT10
         |                |--D. irregularis Taylor 1910T10
         |                |--D. laxus [=Protopharetra laxa]T10
         |                |--D. pauciseptaT10
         |                |--D. simplex Taylor 1910T10
         |                |--D. tenerrimusT10
         |                `--D. translucidus Zhuravleva 1960RB93
         |         ClaruscoscinidaeRB93
         |           |--Stevocyathus elictus Debrenne et al. 1989RB93
         |           `--Claruscocoscinus billingsi (Vologdin 1940)RB93
         |         Altaicyathus [Altaicyathidae]RB93
         |           `--A. notabilis Vologdin 1932RB93
         |         CopleicyathidaeRB93
         |           |--Spinosocyathus maslennikovae Zhuravleva 1960RB93
         |           `--Gabrielsocyathus gabrielsensis (Okulitch 1955)RB93
         |         JugalicyathidaeRB93
         |           |--Jugalicyathus tardus Gravestock 1984RB93
         |           `--Alaskocoscinus tatondukenisis Debrenne et al. in Debrenne & Zhuravlev 1990RB93
         |         Warriootacyathus [Warriootacyathidae]RB93
         |           |--W. lucidus Gravestock 1984RB93
         |           `--W. wilkawillinensis Gravestock 1984RB93
         |         Taeniacyathellus [Tebellacyathidae]RB93
         |           `--T. semenovi Zhuravleva 1960RB93
         |         Archaeosycon Taylor 1910T10 [ArchaeosyconiidaeRB93]
         |           |--*A. billingsi (Walcott 1886)T10, RB93 [=Archaeocyathus billingsiT10, Coscinocyathus billingsiT10]
         |           `--A. copulatus (Debrenne & Gangloff in Voronova et al. 1987)RB93
         |         Beltanacyathus [Beltanacyathidae]RB93
         |           |--B. digitus Gravestock 1984RB93
         |           `--B. wirrialpensis (Taylor 1910)RB93
         |         KorovinellidaeRB93
         |           |--Bicoscinus sdzuyi Debrenne 1977RB93
         |           `--Korovinella sajanica (Yaworsky 1932)RB93
         |         Eremiticyathus [Eremitacyathidae]RB93
         |           `--E. fissus Debrenne 1975RB93
         |         Sakhacyathus [Sakhacyathidae]RB93
         |           `--S. subartus (Zhuravleva 1960)RB93
         |         DictyofavidaeRB93
         |           |--Dictyofavus obtusus Gravestock 1984RB93
         |           `--Zunyicyathus grandus (Yuan & Zhang 1981)RB93
         |         Maiandrocyathus [Maiandrocyathidae]RB93
         |           `--M. insigne (Bedford & Bedford 1936)RB93
         |         Chankacyathus [Chankacyathidae]RB93
         |           `--C. strachovi Yakovlev 1959RB93
         |         Tchojacyathus [Tchojacyathidae]RB93
         |            `--T. validus Rozanov 1960RB93
         |         Usloncyathus [Usloncyathidae]RB93
         |           `--U. miculus Fonin 1966RB93
         |         Keriocyathus [Keriocyathidae]RB93
         |           `--K. arachnaius Debrenne & Gangloff in Debrenne et al. 1990RB93
         |         Gatagacyathus [Gatagacyathidae]RB93
         |           `--G. mansyiRB93
         |         Auliscocyathus [Auliscocyathidae]RB93
         |           `--A. multifidus (Bedford & Bedford 1936)RB93
         |         Tuvacnema [Tuvacnemididae]RB93
         |           `--T. tannuolensis (Rodionova 1967)RB93
         |         Fragilicyathus [Fragilicyathidae]RB93
         |           `--F. zhuravlevae Beljaeva 1969RB93
         |         Kruseicnema [Kruseicnemididae]RB93
         |           `--K. gracilis (Gordon 1920)RB93

*Type species of generic name indicated


[D78] Durham, J. W. 1978. The probable metazoan biota of the Precambrian as indicated by the subsequent record. Ann. Rev. Earth Planet Sci. 6: 21–42.

[EL11] Erwin, D. H., M. Laflamme, S. M. Tweedt, E. A. Sperling, D. Pisani & K. J. Peterson. 2011. The Cambrian conundrum: early divergence and later ecological success in the early history of animals. Science 334: 1091–1097.

[JB12] Johnson, M. E., & B. G. Baarli. 2012. Development of intertidal biotas through Phanerozoic time. In: Talent, J. A. (ed.) Earth and Life: Global biodiversity, extinction intervals and biogeographic perturbations through time pp. 63–128. Springer.

[RB93] Rigby, J. K., G. E. Budd, R. A. Wood & F. Debrenne. 1993. Porifera. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 71–99. Chapman & Hall: London.

[R22] Runnegar, B. 2022. Following the logic behind biological interpretations of the Ediacaran biotas. Geological Magazine 159 (7): 1093–1117.

[T10] Taylor, T. G. 1910. The Archaeocyathinae from the Cambrian of South Australia with an account of the morphology and affinities of the whole class. Memoirs of the Royal Society of South Australia 2 (2): 55–188.

[WS93] Wills, M. A., & J. J. Sepkoski Jr. 1993. Problematica. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 543–554. Chapman & Hall: London.

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