A new phillipsastraeinid tetracoral from the Devonian of New South Wales
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Fromt>ophyllum climax gen. et sp. nov. is a phillipsastraeinid tetracoral from the Mount Frome Limestone ncar M udgec. New South Wales, Austra lia, where it occurs over a stratigraphical thickness of98 m. ranging between Dalejan (Early Devonian) and possibly Eifelian (Middle Devonian) strata. The subfamily assignment is based on a close similarity to Macgeea /Outi Pcdder, which appears to be ancestral to F. climax. Silicified specimens show F. climax to be a polymorphic fasciculate form which undergoes up to three phases of parricidal peripheral increase. When basal structures are preserved, F. climax is mostly found attached to various types of fossi l skeletons which offered a firm substrate above the muddy sea floor by sheaths of skeletal material. Calcareous specimens show a well-defined vertical series of horseshoe dissepiments outside which are horizontally disposed ranks which consist alternately of mostly horseshoe dissepiments and flat dissepiments. Outside this zone normal dissepiments are developed which are proximally and outwardly inclined. This outermost array of skeletal material often spreads down the side of the colony over the wall of the trunk, demonstrating the presence of a highly ex tensile edge zone and everted calyx. Polymorphism is manifest in the diameter and number of septa developed in each of the several generations within a colony.