Stenaster salteri Brittlestar Fossil from Canada

Stenaster salteri

Phylum Echinodermata, Order Ophiuroidea, Family Stenasteridae

Geological Time: Middle Ordovician (~ 461-449 million years ago)

Size): Fossil is 30 mm and 28 mm across on a 112 mm by 80 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Bobcaygeon Formation, Ontario, Canada

Code: AW112

Price: Sold

Description: This is a most unusual brittlestar in that it Brittlestarsis most starfish-like in its exterior morphology. While it has a “typical” starfish shape with short, wide arms, it lacks the madreporite and ambulacral grooves of a true starfish. Stenaster is interpreted as an ophiuroid which has secondarily adopted a deposit-feeding mode of life, analogous to that of some extant asteroids, making it convergent on the true starfish (asteroids). This one is seen with some other associated material, including arms of a second example.

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