Rare Ophiuroid Brittlestar Fossil from California

Name: Ophiuroid sp.; Echinodermata: Class Asteroidea (starfish or seastars)

Age: Upper Eocene

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Matrix 125 mm X 115 mm

Location: Cozy Dell Formation, Upper Sespe Creek, Ventura County, California

Code: EC001

Price: $250.00 - Sold

This is the rare brittlestar of the two species found at this site. In the twenty years I collected this site, I have only found three or four of this species. This specimen is by far the best. It differs from the common species in that the arms are much longer in proportion to the central disc and the arms curve much more sharply. I collected this specimen several years ago and now have it for sale for the first time.

The Ophiuroids are known from the Late Ordovician to the modern times, with some 1400 extant species. In comparison, there are 18 known species from the Cretaceous. There have been only 14 species of ophiuroids described from the Tertiary including five from the Eocene. The Eocene ophiuroid species have been described from Belgium, England, Venezuela, the Antarctic Peninsula, and New Jersey.

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