Fossilised Jurassic sea urchin

Fossilised Jurassic sea urchin


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Fossilised sea urchin (Clypeus ploti). This animal lived in a shallow warm sea that covered southern England about 165 million years ago, during the Jurassic period. C. ploti was first described by Sir Thomas Plot in the 17th century, who noted their resemblance to modern sea urchins. They fed by filtering organic particles into a mouth-like opening on their flat underside. The deep groove (lower right) on the convex upper surface functioned as a conduit for waste material. The double rows of slit like impressions contained tube feet which passed food particles towards the mouth on the underside. This specimen was collected from an abandoned railway cutting near the Roman villa of Chedworth, Gloucestershire, UK. It was found in Bajocian, oolitic limestone. Size is 100 millimetres diameter.

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