A class of echinoderms that comprises the starfishes.
- A traditional hypothesis of the Echinodermata using only extant taxonomic groups places the Asteroidea and Ophiuroidea as sister groups based on the shared derived characteristic of a five-rayed body plan.
- The phylogeny and taxonomy of the Asteroidea led Gregory to begin his paper with a note of frustration: ‘The classification of the Palaeozoic starfishes has long been in chaos.’
- The body outline is similar to the Asteroidea, in that they have five arms joined to a central disk (calyx).
Modern Latin (plural), from Greek asteroeidēs 'starlike', from astēr 'star'.
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