Marocaster Cretaceous Starfish Fossil

Marocaster coronatus

Phylum Echinodermata, Class Asteroidea, Order Valvatida, Family Goniasteridae

Geological Time: Early Cretaceous, Barremian Stage

Size: Starfish fossil has 22 mm arm span on a 75 mm by 95 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Taboulouart Formation, Taba, Morocco

Code: 17162

Price: $Sold

Description: This plate displays a fine starfish found in the Early Cretaceous deposits of Taba, Morocco. Intact starfish specimens are quite uncommon in the fossil record. This specimen is a member of the Asteroidea, or True Starfish. Most specimens from Morocco are found in older Ordovician deposits, and are primarily brittlestars Asteroidea(Ophiuroids) Unlike the brittlestars, true starfish have no demarcation between the arms and the ventral body, and move by means of tube feet rather than by the sinuous movements of the arms. The starfish is quite 3-D in appearance making for a dramatic display piece. Coming from a location only discovered in the last six years, it shows features much like those of modern-day members of the taxon. The horizon in which it was found is thought to have been a shallow water environment. It was most likely buried quickly, allowing it to be preserved quite intact. See my other offerings for a starfish fossils death assemblage.

Reference: Journal of Paleontology, Vol 85, No 6, 2011, pp 1021-1034.

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