A stunning example of a crinoid fossil of the species Pentacrinites fossilis from the world-famous Jurassic Coast beach of Charmouth, Dorset UK.
The piece of shale rock measures 88 mm (3.45 inches) across. The crinoid is still being preserved in the limestone shale rock matrix in which it was found, which has ben aesthetically shaped around the crinoid. The shale from this location is hard to stabilise and so most crinoids from here are free of any shale. In this specimen however, the shale has been stabilised to make sure it is solid and stable. The detail in the crinoid fossil is great, with a partial head with arms and pinnules well preserved. There are also some nice pyrite crystals in the matrix with the classic fool's gold appearance that makes the mineral famous.
Around 196 million years old (Sinemurian, Early Jurassic), this fossil would make a wonderful addition to any collection.
Crinoids are echinoderms closely related to starfish and sea urchins, and have been around for many hundreds of millions of years. They still live today in the deep seas around the world.