14" Fossil Starfish Plate

14" Fossil Starfish Plate

Availability: Out of stock

Quick Overview

Nicely compacted together is this exceptional mass mortality Starfish plate, which was laboratory prepared in Morocco, Africa. The detail, (in combination with the natural positioning of the specimens) gives a nice interpretation of a calm and care free existence, just before their instantaneous demise.

Measures:14" Wide x 11" Tall
Location: Morocco
Time Period: Ordovician 488 - 433 MYO

More Information:

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".