Echinoderm Fossils - Characteristics
Echinoderms are a group of marine invertebrates that include starfishes, sea urchins, sand dollars, sea cucumbers, crinoids, and brittle stars. They are characterized by having radial symmetry, meaning that their body parts are arranged in multiples of five around a central axis. They also have a water-vascular system, an internal network of tubes and bladders filled with water, that allows them to move and feed using tube feet.
Abundant group, echinoderms are one of the most diverse sets of marine animals found in the fossil record. They have a long evolutionary history, dating back to the Cambrian period, about 540 million years ago. They are easily fossilized because they have hard parts made of calcite, a mineral that is resistant to decay. Echinoderm fossils can provide valuable information about the development, feeding, and ecology of these ancient animals.
If you are interested in buying echinoderm fossils for sale, you can find a variety of specimens from different geological periods and locations. Some of the most common and popular echinoderm fossils are:
Starfish fossils: Starfish are carnivores that feed on mollusks, worms, and other animals. They have a mouth on the underside of their body and can regenerate lost limbs. Starfish fossils are often found as impressions or molds in sedimentary rocks.
Sea urchin fossils: Sea urchins are herbivores that graze on algae and seagrasses. They have a spherical or oval body covered with spines that can be used for defense or locomotion. Sea urchin fossils are usually preserved as shells or tests, which consist of many interlocking plates.
Crinoid fossils: Crinoids are also known as sea lilies because they resemble flowers. They are filter feeders that capture plankton and organic particles with their feathery arms. Crinoids have a stalk that attaches them to the seafloor or other surfaces. Crinoid fossils are often found as fragments of arms, stems, or calyxes, which are the cup-shaped structures that house the mouth and internal organs.
Echinoid fossils: Echinoids are a diverse group of echinoderms that include sand dollars, heart urchins, and irregular sea urchins. They have a flattened or disk-shaped body with reduced spines and tubercles. Echinoid fossils are often found as complete tests or partial fragments in various types of rocks.
Our Echinoderm Collection For Sale
If you are fascinated by the ancient and diverse group of echinoderms, you will love our echinoderm collection for sale. We have a variety of authentic echinoderm fossils from different geological periods and locations. Our collection is divided into two sub-collections: echinoids and crinoids.
Echinoids are echinoderms that have a flattened or disk-shaped body with reduced spines and tubercles. They include sand dollars, heart urchins, and irregular sea urchins. Some of the echinoid fossils that we have for sale are:
Sea urchin, Metaporinus praeconvexa: This is a rare and well-preserved fossil of a sea urchin from the Jurassic period, about million years ago.
Salenia Sea Urchin, Echinolampas: This is a beautiful fossil of a salenia sea urchin from the Cretaceous period, about 100 million years ago.
Crinoids are echinoderms that resemble flowers. They have a stalk that attaches them to the seafloor or other surfaces, and a calyx that houses the mouth and internal organs. They have feathery arms that capture plankton and organic particles. Some of the crinoid fossils that we have for sale are:
Devonian Crinoid, Cupressocrinites: This is another fossil of a crinoid from the Upper Devonian period, about 400 million years ago. It has a short and thick stem, a conical calyx, and branched arms. It was found in Holly Cross Mountains.
If you want to buy our echinoderm collection for sale, just check our products for more details. We offer fast and secure shipping worldwide.
How could you tell if a fossil was an echinoderm?
Group echinoderms include a variety of marine invertebrates that include starfishes, sea urchins, sand dollars, sea cucumbers, crinoids, and brittle stars. They have some distinctive features that can help you identify them as fossils. Some of these features are:
They have radial symmetry, meaning that their body parts are arranged in multiples of five around a central axis. This is different from most other animals, which have bilateral symmetry, meaning that their body parts are mirrored on both sides of a central line. You can look for the five-fold pattern in the shape or structure of the fossil.
They have a skeleton of plates made of calcite, a mineral that is easily fossilized and resistant to decay. Calcite is also transparent to polarized light, which means that it can show different colors when viewed under a microscope or with a special filter. You can look for the calcite plates or test in the fossil.
They have a water-vascular system, an internal network of tubes and bladders filled with water, that allows them to move and feed using tube feet. Tube feet are extensions of the water-vascular system that can be used for locomotion, respiration, and sensory perception. You can look for the traces or impressions of the tube feet or the water-vascular system in the fossil.
Echinoderms are one of the most abundant and diverse groups of marine animals in the fossil record. They are represented by many different types and forms, from simple to complex, from small to large, from sessile to mobile. The majority of echinoderm fossils are found in sedimentary rocks, such as limestone, shale, or sandstone. Echinoderm fossils can provide valuable information about the evolution, ecology, and diversity of these ancient animals.