A collection of numerous crinoid pluricolumnals from the uppermost Darriwilian (Middle Ordovician) of Tibet were derived from one biological species of crinoid. The specimens were collected from well-lithified, bioclastic shelf limestones of the upper part of the Lower Chiatsun Group, Pygodus serra Biozone; coeval rocks of similar lithology outcrop at the summit of Everest. A new crinoid morphospecies, Segmentocolumnus (col.) hanshessi, is tentatively considered a ‘stem-group cladid’, perhaps a dendrocrinid. The proxistele is broad and pentagonal in section with a broad, pentagonal axial canal; the mesistele of similar gross morphology is more slender with a regularly heteromorphic column and a similarly wide axial canal; the dististele is a terminal dendritic radice with a pentastellate axial canal. In the mesistele, the meric sutures correspond to the centres of the sides of the column, but in the dististele they occur in the angles. This range of morphologies would have led to their inclusion in at least two morphogenera if they had not been closely associated; as they belong to a single biological species, they have been ‘lumped’ together herein. This is a rare contribution to our knowledge of the early crinoids from a region outside Europe and North America.
Geological Journal, 2012, Vol 47, Issue 6, p. 653-660