Translation of the original German introduction by Ernst Haeckel:
Phylum of Echinoderma (Sterntiere); - main class of Pentorchonia (Pygocinctae); - class of Ophiodea (Schlangensterne); - order of Cladophiura (Euryalonia).
Some Ophiodea, illustrated on this plate, still have five simple, unbranched arms like those of Ophiodea presented on plate 10. The peculiar ‘medusa stars’ (Astrophytida, fig. 1, 2) on the other hand, are characterized by heavy branching of the greatly enlarged arms. These five tree-shaped arms help climbing with their innumerable, very flexible branches and can be rolled up on the ventral side; they are composed of thousands of articulately jointed limbs, just like the arms of ‘palm stars’ or ‘sea-lilies’ (plate 20). The calcified appendages of the skin appear as quills, scales, combs, etc. On the bottom side of the central disc that is sharply separated from the five arms, the pentagonal mouth is positioned in the centre, armed with five teeth. One of the five ‘mouth plates’ usually carries a sieve-shaped ‘Madre-pores-disc’. In some Astrophytidae, however, (so in fig. 1) five such Madreporites are present. In between two arms each two ‘sexual discs’ are located at the base.
Translation by VR Translators Bangalore
We've scanned the original lithography at 1200dpi on the Epson A3 scanner of A3 scanner huren. You can download a 400dpi JPEG here.