The Echinodermata is a phylum of exclusively marine invertebrates with a fossil record extending back to the
Precambrian. The echinoderm clade is supported by a number of unique features, including
- a water vascular system
- a system of endoskeletal elements (arising from mesoderm) composed of a calcareous meshwork called stereom
- basic 5-part symmetry (often modified later in ontogeny) expressed in the development of 5 primary lobes in
the hydrocoel of the rudiment
- construction of ambulacra by the addition of new plates adjacent to the terminal (or ocular) plate that marks
the ends of the radial canals
- a diffuse sub-epithelial nervous system
- Summary and Taxonomy of the Echinodermata
Links to other Echinoderm web resources
and Echinoderm research links
at the California Academy of Sciences
- Dr. Rich Mooi
Researches the phylogenetic systematics of the Echinodermata, but particularly in echinoids.
The CAS Invertebrate Zoology and Geology Research Collection focuses on material collected primarily from the
East and Indo-Pacific. Holdings are strongest in asteroids, ophiuroids and echinoids from the Northwest Pacific,
especially the California coast. Shallow water and deep-sea recent material is represented and there is also a
substantial number of fossil echinoderm specimens.
- Special holdings within the collection include:
- Voucher and type collection of echinoderms from Stanford University (worked upon and collected by Ed Ricketts,
Walter K. Fisher and H.L. Clark) collected by the USFC Steamer Albatross in the late 19th century and early 20th
- Shallow water Indo-Pacific echinoderms collected by Antonio J. Ferreira
- East-Asian dredge material collected by Franz B. Steiner
- Recently acquired oceanographic dredge collections of brisingid asteroids from Oregon State University.
- The Malcolm Telford Collection from the University of Toronto, including one of the world's best collections
- Material collected by CAS staff since 1906.
There is a substantial amount of unallocated ophiuroid, crinoid and holothuroid
material from mostly tropical Pacific localities. If you are a specialist who
would like to work on our material or if you would like to make a donation of
specimens to our collections please contact the curator,
Dr. Rich Mooi .
California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street, San Francisco, California 94103