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Crinoid fossils

Crinoid fossils

E442/0564

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Credit

DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Fossil crinoids or sea lilies. These are marine invertebrates classified, along with starfish, as echinoderms. The formation of this limestone rock has preserved the delicate feathery arms and tube- like stalks. These animals attached themselves to the sea floor with their stalk, using the feathery arms to catch food. Crinoids fossils are found in rocks dating back to the Lower Ordovician Period (500 million years ago). Thousands of extinct crinoid species have been found as fossils, but only a few hundred sea lily species still exist today. This rock dates to the Devonian Period of 400-360 million years ago, and comes from Morocco. The crinoids are around 15-20 centimetres long.

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