Fossil crinoid "Scyphocrinites elegans"


Upper Silurian period, 443,8 - 419,2 million years ago, Erfoud, Morocco, private collection from Netherlands.

Crinoids are marine animals that make up the class Crinoidea of the echinoderms (phylum Echinodermata). The name comes from ther Greek word "krinon" (lily) and "eidos" (form). They live in both shallow water and in depths as great as 9,000 meters.  Because many crinoids resemble flowers, with their cluster of waving arms atop a long stem, they are sometimes called sea lilies. But crinoids are not plants. Like their relatives - starfishes, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and brittle stars - crinoids are echinoderms, animals with rough, spiny surface and a special kind of radial symmetry based on five or multiples of five. Crinoids have lived in the world's oceans since at least the beginning of the Ordovician Period, roughly 485 million years ago. They may be even older.

Beautiful sediment containing the remains of many stems of this species of moroccan crinoid (Scyphocrinites elegans). They have been left partially embedded in the sediment. Good condition. Age-related wear. Size of the sediment approx. 12,0cm x 12,3cm x 2,3cm. Weight c. 347g.