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 173 mm (6.81 inches) across which is large for a single crinoid piece from this location. The fossil consists of a single large head with great detail in the arms - pinnules, and calyx - as well as multiple stems. The reverse of the fossil has multiple disarticulated stem ossicles that show the classic five-pointed star shape that give this genus its name. It is preserved in limestone with no pyrite. It has been coated with a soluble (removable) lacquer for protection. 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.