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Fossil of...???

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It is a crinoid calyx. A nice one too. They sit on a jointed stem. Natives used the stem section for beads. That is the unopened crinoid calyx. It opens up like a fan with a bunch of arms or tentacles. They look like plants but are actually animals.

Great find! Pretty tough to find one loose from the matrix.

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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  • 3 weeks later...


I thought you would like to know what you really have here. There are a few nice guesses, but I can confidently say that it has nothing to do with crinoids. It is not a calyx which is basically the body above the stem of a crinoid. It is what the arms are attached to and what traps the food when the crinoid positions itself against the surf, inhaling the sea water for nutrients. A crinoid calyx is constructed of plates on the outside and if not preserved as a whole, will break apart in small plate fragments. As you can see, you have a very worn and eroded solid fossil where the outer layer is weathered away and you are looking at the inside "guts". The lines you see running down the fossil give the identity away. The lines are septa which are dividing walls in most corals. You will also notice that at the end of the piece it is sort of concave. That is most likely the remnant of the calice or cup that holds the living polyp. Those features alone would suggest to me that what you have is a rugose coral, probably a solitary horn coral fragment. Very nice specimen. What is kind of funny is that there is a calyx on a crinoid but also on your specimen- the other term being the calice; it just means cup-like structure. The crinoid calyx holds all the guts and the mouth...... But yours is coral..


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