Potential evolutionary trade-off between feeding and stability in Cambrian cinctan echinoderms

Imran Rahman, James O'Shea, Stephan Lautenschlager & Samuel Zamora
Reconstructing the function and behaviour of extinct groups of echinoderms is problematic because there are no modern analogues for their aberrant body plans. Cinctans, an enigmatic group of Cambrian echinoderms, exemplify this problem: their asymmetrical body plan differentiates them from all living species. Here, we used computational fluid dynamics to analyse the functional performance of cinctans without assuming an extant comparative model. Three-dimensional models of six species from across cinctan phylogeny were used in computer...
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