Museum Sponge and Brittle Star Fossils from Bundenbach

Protospongia rhenana Sponge

Phylum Porifera, Class Hexactinellida, Family Protospongiidae

Furcaster palaeozoicus Brittle Star

Phylum Echinodermata, Subphylum Asterozoa, Class Ophiuroidea

Geological Time: Lower Devonian, Seigenian/Emsian Stage

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): The Protospongia is 3 7/8” x 4” and the Furcaster is 3 ½” in length on a 9 ½” x 5 5/8” plate

Fossil Site: Bundenbach Hunsruck Slate, Bundenbach Germany

Fossil Code: PFO470

Price: Sold

Museum Protospongia Sponge and Furcaster Starfish Fossils from BundenbachDescription: This beautifully preserved Protospongia rhenanawas sponge was a sessile animal that attached itself to a hard spot on the sea floor. The elegant, long armed Furcaster palaeozoicus was a brittle star. Together, they form a delightful association piece from a classic German fossil discovery site. Both specimens reveal impeccable life-like detail. Life imitating art, or, art imitating life. Most certainly something pleasant to contemplate on a peaceful, star filled night.

The Hunsruck slate is famous for its fossils, many of which have pyritization present. Rapid burial and pyritization 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. These well known roofing slate quarries are now all closed. And though I find it depressing to repeat this repetitious tale, these wonderful fossils will be increasingly difficult to obtain in the future.

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