Brittle star - ROM2004_982_20

Brittle star fossil, Urasterella pulchella (Billings)

Brittle star

Geography: Canada, Ontario
Date: 1997
length of fossil=6; width of fossil=6 cm
    • Attributes
    • Objects
    • Taxonomy
    • Kingdom: Animalia
    • Phylum: Echinodermata
    • Class: Stelleroidea
    • Order: Forcipulatida
    • Family: Urasterellidae
    • Genus: Urasterella
    • SpecificEpithet: pulchella
Object number: 53368
Not on view
DescriptionThe name echinoderms means the “spiny skinned” invertebrates. They range from stalked and feathery-crowned crinoids (sea lilies), to the bizarre cystoids and “seated stars” (edrioasteroids), to the familiar-looking sea stars. Most echinoderms show a unique five-rayed body pattern. Of these fossil groups, only the sea stars and crinoids have descendents living in modern seas. Sea stars have numerous small calcite plates imbedded in their soft bodies. When the animal dies and its soft tissue rots, the individual plates are usually scattered. Only rarely is a sea star preserved intact.
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