Translation of the original German introduction by Ernst Haeckel:
Phylum of Echinoderma (Sterntiere); - main class of Pentorchonia (Orocincte); - class of Blastoidea (Knospensterne).
‘Bud-stars’ and ‘sea-buds’ (Blastoidea) form a most peculiar class of the phylum of Echinoderma; they are known to us only in the form of their fossil remains. These lime-shells are exclusively limited to the Paleozoic Age that dates back at least 14 million years; they are already present in the lower Silurian, more frequent in Devonian period and reach their highest stage of development in the Carboniferous period; the class becomes extinct with the end of the ‘coal-period’. All Blastoidea lived a sessile life anchored in the ocean floor, often fixed by a short stalk; the posture of the five-sided pyramidal body was, therefore, the same as in their immediate ancestors, the ‘pouch-stars’ (Cystoidea, plate 90) and in the ‘palm-stars’ (Crinoidea, plate 20). Opposite to the lower ‘base-pole’ of the vertical main axis of the body is found the mouth in the centre of the top, near the ‘crest-pole’. The mouth forms the centre of a five-radial ‘star figure’, Anthodium. It consists of five perradial ‘sensing-planes’, Ambulacra, of a highly developed, only partly understandable frame. In the vast majority of ‘bud-stars’, Eublastoidea, five Ambulacra are of equal shape and size; in the smaller order of Parblastoidea (fig. 4 and 10) however they are strikingly disparate. Here one Ambulacra (the posterior one directed towards the anus) is much shorter and broader than the other four, band-shaped ‘sensing-planes’. Incidentally, the eccentric position of the anus (in the posterior, inter-radial plane) suggests a bilateral symmetry in the five-sided pyramidal frame of the body of almost all ‘sea-buds’. The mouth is surrounded by five pairs of openings similar to those of ‘snake-stars’ (Ophiodea, plate 10 and 70); probably they were used, as in the latter, to discharge sexual products. In most cases these ten genital clefts (also interpreted as ‘respiratory openings’, called “Hydrospires”) are positioned in pairs in between the ‘crest-closures’ of the Ambulacra. The margins of the latter were lined in a row of flexible Pinnulae with their structured lime skeleton rarely well preserved (fig. 3 above, fig. 12). These Pinnulae (corresponding to the Pinnulae along the free arms of Crinoidea, plate 20), folded inwardly, covered the Anthodium completely (in fig. 3 the two upper lateral Ambulacra).
All illustrations of this plate are with low magnification. Ambulacra are presented with yellow colouration.
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.