Temporal range: Lower Silurian - Lower Jurassic
|Fossil specimen of Uncites gryphus from Germany, Devonian age|
Boucot et al. 1964
The Athyridida are the Rostrospracea of R.C Moore, 1952, considered at that time to be a suborder of the Spiriferida. As with the Spiriferida, the Athyridida have outwardly directed spiral brachidia that support the lophophores on either side, but instead have non-plicate shells with rounded outlines and prominent beaks but almost no inner areas on the pedicle valve.
Athyridids began early in the Silurian, reached their greatest diversity in the following Devonian, and from then declined steadily until almost becoming extinct at the end of the Permian The order rejuvenated somewhat during the Triassic, only to decline again until becoming extinct in the Jurassic.