Solnhofen Brittlestar Fossil
Phylum Echinodermata; Class Ophiuroidea
Time: Lower Mississippian Osagean Stage
mm = 1 inch): 44 mm across on a 50 mm by 50 mm matrix
Site: Malm Zeta, Solnhofen Limestone, Zandt, Germany
A rarely seen member of the Ophiuroidea, or Brittlestars, this is
a fine example of Geocoma carinata. The genus is also known from the
Cretaceous deposits of Lebanon where Geocoma libanotica is often seen.
These Brittlestars are over 50 million years older, showing that the
genus was quite long-lived. While starfish are more sturdily-built,
the Briitlestars are more delicate, with the arms branching off from
the central disc in such a way as to make the arms quite mobile (some
are also termed “Serpent Stars” due to their sinuous movements).
. These 150 million year old deposits are famous for their exceptionally
well-preserved organisms, the most famous of which are the handful
of specimens of the ancient bird Archaeopteryx. It is well-positioned
on its square lithographic limestone matrix, a suitable representative
of this remarkable largerstatt that is sure to be a welcome addition
to any collection of specimens from the region.
click crinoid pictures