There was also sufficient comprehension of the differences between the main classes of Echinoderms - the sea-urchins or Echinoidea, the starfish or Asteroidea, the brittle-stars and their allies known as Ophiuroidea, the worm-like Holothurians, the feather-stars and sea-lilies called Crinoidea, with their extinct relatives the sac-like Cystidea, the bud-formed Blastoidea, and the flattened Edrioasteroideawhile within the larger of these classes, such as Echinoidea and Crinoidea, fair working classifications had been established.
The plates at the tips of the rays) in Asteroidea and Ophiuroidea, and therefore not homologous with the radially disposed plates often seen around the aboral pole of those animals.
A calycinal system may be quite apparent in the later Ophiuroidea and in a few Asteroidea, but there is no trace of it in the older Palaeozoic types, unless we are to transfer the appellation to the terminals.
First, a comparison of the relative numbers of the representatives of the various classes at different epochs; according to this they may be placed in the following order, with the oldest first: Cystidea, Crinoidea, Blastoidea, Asteroidea, Ophiuroidea, Echinoidea.
Turning to fossil Asteroidea, we find the earlier ophiurids scarcely distinguishable from the asterids, while in the alternation of the ambulacrals, which undoubtedly correspond to the flooring-plates of Edrioaster, both groups approach the Pelmatozoan type.