Translation of the original German introduction by Ernst Haeckel:
Phylon of Echinoderma (Sterntiere); - subclass of Crinoidea (Palmensterne or Seelilien); - legion of Neocrinida (modern Palmensterne); - order of Pentacrinacea (Canalicatae).
The class of Crinoidea (Palmensterne or Seelilien) is distinguished from the other Echinoderma by the formation of a cup-shaped goblet (Theca), which is, at the base of its ‘back plane’, anchored in the sea-bed with the help of a long, segmented stalk whereas the mouth is located on top, in the centre of the ‘stomach plane’. It is surrounded by five strong, long and very flexible arms, usually branched out in manifold fork-like shapes. On the numerous lime pieces that form the parts of the flexible arms, finely structured threads are sitting called Pinnulae (Fiederchen). The long and strong stalk or the column, that leaves from the lower centre of the back plane of the goblet and is grown onto the sea-bed at its lower end, is also segmented carrying coronas of five fine tendrils each in regular intervals; these tendrils are very flexible as well, composed of a number of lime pieces. The number of individual skeletal parts, consisting of carbonic lime, connected with the help of joints in a big specimen of Crinoidea, as well as the number of muscles belonging to these joints, and ligaments frequently amounts to several thousand, in biggest species (higher than 2 m) to several million. Young larvae of Crinoidea swim freely in the sea.
Translation by VR Translators Bangalore
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