Open main menu

Orthida is an extinct order of brachiopods which appeared during the Early Cambrian period and became very diverse by the Ordovician, living in shallow-shelf seas. Orthids are the oldest member of the subphylum Rhynchonelliformea, and is the order from which all other brachiopods of this group stem.[1] Physically they are usually strophic, with well-developed interareas. They also commonly have radiating ribs, sulcus, and fold structures. Typically one valve, often the brachial valve, is flatter than the other. The interior structure of the brachial valves are usually simple. In shape they are sub-circular to elliptical, with typically biconvex valves.

Temporal range: Early Cambrian (Botomian)–Late Permian
Vinlandostrophia ponderosa (Upper Ordovician).
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Clade: Lophophorata
Phylum: Brachiopoda
Class: Rhynchonellata
Order: Orthida
Suborders and Superfamilies

There is some debate over the forms that first appeared of this order as to how they should be classified. However, they began to differentiate themselves by the late Early Cambrian period, and by the late Cambrian period had diversified into numerous varieties and reach 2 to 5 cm in width. Specimens from the late Cambrian to the earliest Ordovician exhibit shells with rounded and pointed pedicle valves, with sharp to obtuse extremities and ridges that are fine to course. Punctate shells appear during the mid-Ordovician, which establish the suborder Dalmanellidina. The Ordovician is a productive period which gives rise to numerous genera in this order. However, they started to become greatly reduced by the end of the Ordovician extinction event. Both the impunctate and punctate survived through to the early Devonian Eventually, though, only the punctate lived on, and would play a minor role in benthic ecosystems until the late Permian, when they became extinct.[2]

Tropidoleptus carinatus, an orthid brachiopod from the Middle Devonian of New York.


The taxonomy taken from the 2000 treatise[3] is as follows:

Suborder OrthidinaEdit

  • Superfamily Orthoidea
    • Family Orthidae
    • Family Anomalorthidae
    • Family Bohemiellidae
    • Family Glyptorthidae
    • Family Hesperonomiidae
    • Family Hesperorthidae
    • Family Lycophoriidae
    • Family Nanorthidae
    • Family Orthidiellidae
    • Family Plaesiomyidae
    • Family Poramborthidae
    • Family Productorthidae
    • Family Whittardiidae
  • Superfamily Plectorthoidea
    • Family Plectorthidae
    • Family Cremnorthidae
    • Family Cyclocoeliidae
    • Family Eoorthidae
    • Family Euorthisinidae
    • Family Finkelnburgiidae
    • Family Giraldiellidae
    • Family Phragmorthidae
    • Family Platystrophiidae
    • Family Ranorthidae
    • Family Rhactorthidae
    • Family Tasmanorthidae
    • Family Wangyuiidae

Suborder DalmanellidinaEdit

  • Superfamily Dalmanelloidea
    • Family Dalmanellidae
    • Family Angusticardiniidae
    • Family Dicoelosiidae
    • Family Harknessellidae
    • Family Heterorthidae
    • Family Hypsomyoniidae
    • Family Kayserellidae
    • Family Mystrophoridae
    • Family Paurorthidae
    • Family Platyorthidae
    • Family Portranellidae
    • Family Proschizophoriidae
    • Family Rhipidomellidae
    • Family Tyronellidae
  • Superfamily Enteletoidea
    • Family Enteletidae
    • Family Draboviidae
    • Family Chrustenoporidae
    • Family Linoporellidae
    • Family Saukrodictyidae
    • Family Schizophoriidae


  1. ^ Patzkowsky, Mark E (2003). Orthida Archived 2007-03-12 at the Wayback Machine. McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology Online. Retrieved on July 24, 2006.
  2. ^ Kazlev, M. Alan (1999). Order Orthida. Paleos, Invertebrates. Retrieved on July 24, 2006.
  3. ^ Williams, Alwyn; Carlson, S.J.; Brunton, C.H.C.; Holmer, L.E.; Popov, L.E.; Mergl, M.; Laurie, J.R.; Bassett, M.G.; Cocks, L.R.M.; Rong, J.-Y.; et al. (2000). Paul Selden (ed.). "Part H, Brachiopoda. Linguliformea, Craniiformea, and Rhynchonelliformea". Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology. Geological Society of America.