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 45 mm (1.7 inches) across and consists of a rarely preserved part of the crinoid's head: the open mouth of the calyx with nicely preserved arms and pinnules radiating from it. 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 mouth preserved with this level of detail are hard to find. These crinoids are very sought after and not easy to find these days. It is a fine example with a high level of detail down to the smallest scale.
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.