Echinoderms have evolved diverse and disparate morphologies throughout the Phanerozoic. Among them, blastozoans, an extinct group of echinoderms that were an important component of Paleozoic marine ecosystems, are primarily subdivided into groups based on the morphology of respiratory structures. However, systematic and phylogenetic research from the past few decades has shown that respiratory structures in blastozoans are not group-defining and they have re-evolved throughout echinoderm evolution. This Element provides a review of the research involving blastozoan respiratory structures, along with research concerning the morphology, palaeoecology, and ontogeny of each of the major groupings of blastozoans as it relates to their corresponding respiratory structures. Areas of future research in these groups are also highlighted.
2. Assessing Blastozoan Evolutionary Relationships
3. Respiratory Structures
12. Future Work