10.25" Fossil Starfish Plate
Availability: Out of stock
This fossil plate has two finely detailed Asteroidea and Brittle starfish specimens. Their natural positioning on the matrix bed lends for an aesthetically pleasing composition. An excellent piece for any collector, or designer.
Overall Measurement: ~10-1/4" High x 8-1/2" Wide x 1/4" Deep
Location: Morocco, North Africa
Time Period:Ordovician 488 - 433 MYO
Sea levels were at their highest levels of the Paleozoic Era during the Ordovician Period and saw water temperatures of more than 110° F. These conditions allowed marine life to flourish and led to wide diversification. It is during this time that sea stars (from the class Asteroidea) and brittle stars (from the class Ophiuroidea) diverged.
Sea stars, or starfish, tend to have legs that are wider and more connected to one another. They had tubular feet enabling them to move. Brittle stars on the other hand had narrower, more flexible arms that they wiggled in order to move around the sea floor. The type of brittle star fossils found in Morocco are of the genus Ophiura and are characterized by a disc-like body with long, thin legs radially arranged around it. In fossil plates their wavy arms give the appearance of dancing.
Although many Starfish are carnivores, feeding upon small fish, oysters and mollusks, some Starfish are omnivorous, supplementing their diets with organic particles such as algae. As Starfish have been living in our seas and oceans for close to 1/2 billion years with very little change in their anatomy they are a classic example of what is referred to as a "living fossil".