A stunning and rare example of a crinoid fossil of the species Pentacrinites fossilis from the world-famous Jurassic Coast beach of Charmouth, Dorset UK.
The fossil measures 193 mm (7.6 inches) across which is large for a single crinoid piece from this location. The fossil consists of a single complete animal with the stem and attachment cirri, and head with arms and pinnules, all preserved with great detail. It is preserved in limestone with a layer of golden-coloured pyrite on the surface. The reverse of the fossil has been backed with plaster to make it strong and stable, as is standard with these fossils. These crinoids are very sought after and not easy to find these days, and large examples like this are even rarer.
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.