Unusual Six Armed Starfish Fossil

Asteroidea indet.

Phylum Echinodermata

Geological Time: Upper Ordovician

Size: Starfish fossil has 65 mm armspan on a 175 mm by 110 mm matrix

Fossil Site: El Kaid Errami Valley, Tafilalt, Morocco

Code: 18152

Price: Sold

Six Armed Starfish FossilDescription: This plate displays an unusual starfish found in the Ordovician deposits of El Kaid Errami. Intact starfish specimens are quite uncommon in the fossil Echinodermata Asteroidearecord. This specimen is a member of the Asteroidea, or True Starfish. 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 unusual in that it has 6 arms rather than the usual 5. Most likely it had lost one and then regrown two arms to take its place like Hydra from mythology. I include a photo I took of an extant specimen early in regeneration as seen at the Bishop Aquarium of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California. While I have had a few others to offer, all have been far smaller than this one.

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