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Brittle Starfish Ophiuroidea 100mm


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Brittle Starfish Ophiuroidea encapsulated in silts of the Mecissi Ordovician deposit. The excellent split nodule containing the preserved remains, now fossilised, of the once extant marine creature. The starfish of a light (natural fossil bed, iron staining) brown set against the battleship grey of the seabed once its home. A very good positive and negative example of this archaic fossil starfish.

Genus: Brittle starfish Ophiura.
Age: Ordovician period, 440 to 420 million years ago.
Origin: Tremadoc Series, Kataoua Formation, Ordivician of Mecissi, Morocco.

Left plate measurements.
Height: 9.9 cm
Width: 9.7 cm
Depth: 2.4 cm

Right plate measurements.
Height: 10 cm
Width: 9.4 cm
Depth: 4 cm

Starfish measurements.
Longest span: 4.7 cm

Weight: 0,909 g

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Brittle starfish Ophiura, part of the order of Asteroids (Ophiuroides). A positive and negative plate displaying one excellently preserved specimen, the matrix being split open to reveal two mirror images of the same starfish.

Fascinatingly captured in the silts the Brittlestar was laid down in eons ago. Arms articulating in the dance of the starfish, seemingly waving with much moment as though in a dance across the sea bed. The living starfish or extant brittlestar once crawled along the ocean bed in search of its prey, it is theorised some massive underwater event smothered many of these individuals, as in this deposit are found so many well preserved starfish, showing no signs or predation or little decay, only such an event as an underwater disturbance would have covered so many in such a short time.

The genus type of these Brittle starfish Ophira specimens are found in the location of Kataoua Kaid Errami fossil formation, Saharan Morocco. The geological age is Ordovician period around 440 million years ago.

Additional Information

Age Ordovician
Origin Morocco
Colour Brown