The theory was that all the plates just described, and more particularly those of the cup, which were termed "the calycinal system," could be traced, not merely in all crinoids, but in all Echinoderms, whether fixed forms such as cystids and blastoids, or free forms such as ophiuroids and echinoids, even - with the eye of faith - in holothurians.
The theory has been vigorously opposed, notably by Semon (op. cit.), who saw in the holothurians a nearer approach to the ancestral form than was furnished by any calyculate echinoderm, and by the Sarasins, who derived the echinoids from the holothurians through forms with flexible tests (Echinothuridae, which, however, are now known to be specialized in this respect).
The support that appeared to be given to the theory by the presence of supposed calycinal plates in the embryo of echinoids and asteroids has been, in the opinion of many, undermined by E.
Aboral) poles of starfish and crinoids are not comparable with one another, and that all conclusions based on the supposed homology of the dorso-central of echinoids and asteroids with that of crinoids are incorrect.
Palaeontology lends no support to the idea that the dorsocentral is a primitive element; it exists in none of the early echinoids, and the suranal of Saleniidae arises from the minor plates around the anus.