RARE Bundenbach Starfish Fossils Association

Urasterella verruculosa

Furcaster zitelli

Phylum Echinodermata, Subphylum Asterozoa, Class Ophiuroidea

Geological Time: Lower Devonian, Seigenian/Emsian Stage

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Urasterella fossil has a 80 mm armspan (maximum), Furcaster has 85 mm armspan (maximum), on a 165 by 230 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Hunsruck Slate, Bundenbach Germany

Code: GF058

Price: $825.00

Urasterella verruculosa and Furcaster zitelli FossilsDescription: Well-preserved example of a pair of Ophiuroids (brittlestars) known as Urasterella verrucucolsa and Furcaster zitelli. Both the family Asterozoa (True Starfish) and Ophiuroidea (Brittlestars) are known by the common term “starfish”. The Hunsruck slate is famous for its fossils, many of which have Ophiuroideapyritization present. Rapid burial and pyritization was what led to the many wonderful examples of early Devonian life from the region. The chemistry of the silt was such that low organic content and high levels of iron and sulfur allowed the pyrite to diffuse into the tissues rather than be deposited in the sediment. The mudstones were metamorphosed into slate during the Carboniferous. The slate was quarried for roofing tiles, and the quarrymen would save the fossils for later sale. Now that the quarries are no longer open, future supplies of these wonderfully-preserved benthic organisms will only come from existing collections. This one is quite well-preserved. The species name for the one specimen refers to its verruculose exoskeleton, a word that means covered with wart-like prominences. The other has a more classic brittlestar appearance. It is quite uncommon to have two specimens of such diverse morphology on one plaque, making this a most unique example to add to any collection.

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