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 crinoid measures 93 mm (3.65 inches) across and sits in the original shale in which it was found, which measures 120 mm (4.7 inches) across. The fossil consists of a complete head with great detail in the arms, pinnules, and calyx. It is preserved in limestone with no pyrite. It has been coated with a soluble (removable) lacquer for protection. Crinoids from this location still in their original shale are rare. The shale matrix has several cut-flat bases to allow it to stand freely for display in multiple ways. These crinoids are very sought after and not easy to find these days, and complete heads like this are even rarer. The whole piece weighs 435 grams.
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.