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 (1.75 inches) across and consists of ten crinoid stems all wrapped together in a very unusual fashion. These crinoids lived in colonies attached to driftwood in the Jurassic oceans and these ones appear to have wrapped around one another before they became fossilised on the seafloor. The stems are preserved in 3D with great relief and stunning detail. It is preserved in calcite with a layer of golden-coloured iron pyrite on the surface of the stems. Pyrite crinoids are hard to find and this is a very fine and unique example.
Around 196 million years old, 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.