A stunning example of a crinoid fossil of the species Pentacrinites fossilis from the world-famous Jurassic Coast beach of Charmouth, Dorset UK.
The fossil measures 120 mm (4.7 inches) across, which is big for s single piece of crinoid like this. The fossil consists of multiple long stems and a partial head with nicely preserved arms and pinnules in 3D as well as the rarely exposed calyx. These arms were used by the animal to capture particles of food, which were then passed to a mouth in the centre of the calyx. Fossils with the arms preserved with this level of detail are hard to find. These crinoids are very sought after and not easy to find these days. A very fine example.
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.