Nannotax3 - ntax_cenozoic - Discoasteraceae Nannotax3 - ntax_cenozoic - Discoasteraceae


Classification: ntax_cenozoic -> Discoasterales -> Discoasteraceae
Sister taxa: Discoasteraceae, Fasciculithaceae, Heliolithaceae, Sphenolithaceae

Daughter taxa (time control age-window is: 0-800Ma)Granddaughter taxa
Radiate nannoliths with each ray formed of a discrete crystal-unit, with the c-axes perpendicular to the nannolith surface.

Discoasterids with bifurcate ray tips that meet to form a basket like structure
Catinaster calyculus
Catinaster coalitus
Catinaster sp.


Citation: Discoasteraceae Tan Sin Hok, 1927
Rank: Family

Distinguishing features:
Parent taxon (Discoasterales): Radially symmetrical nannoliths formed from one to several separate cycles of elements that radiate from a common centre or axis.
This taxon: Discoidal discoasteralids formed of one, non-birefringent in plan view, cycle.

Farinacci & Howe catalog pages: Discoasteraceae [no catalog entry yet]


Discoidal nannoliths of 3-40 elements radiating from a common centre. C-axes vertical, so nannoliths appear dark in plane-polarised light.

Phylogenetic relations

Almost certainly evolved from the Heliolithaceae, by loss of the R-units. Disappear from the fossil record at the end of the Pliocene. There is a long term trend in ecology of the group toward reduction of number of elements and increase in space between the elements (Bukry 1971)

Search data:
Lith size: 0->0µm;
The morphological data given here can be used on the advanced search page. See also these notes

Geological Range:
Last occurrence (top): near top of Gelasian Stage (85% up, 1.9Ma, in Gelasian stage). Data source: Total of range of species in this database
First occurrence (base): near base of Thanetian Stage (8% up, 59Ma, in Thanetian stage). Data source: Total of range of species in this database

Plot of occurrence data:


Bukry, D. (1971a). Discoaster evolutionary trends. Micropaleontology. 17: 43-52. gs

Perch-Nielsen, K. (1985). Cenozoic calcareous nannofossils. In, Bolli, H. M., Saunders, J. B. & Perch-Nielsen, K. (eds) Plankton Stratigraphy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 427-555. gs

Tan Sin Hok, (1927). Discoasteridae incertae sedis. Proceedings of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen. Sect Sci, 30: 411-419. gs


Discoasteraceae compiled by Jeremy R. Young, Paul R. Bown, Jacqueline A. Lees viewed: 24-9-2023

Taxon Search:
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Short stables page link: Go to to create a permanent copy of this page - citation notes

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