A highly important museum quality plate is full of prehistoric life, displaying multiple colonies of fossil Scyphocrinites Elegans and reaching a total length of 7.8ft compared to other admired showpieces around the world, much like the 1.6-meter specimen exhibited at the Musée des Confluences in Lyon. Scyphocrinites Elegans are a class of the echinoderms; relative to starfish and sea urchins alike. Appearing in the Cambrian era, a fossil record dating 420,000,000 years.
Laid upon a soft palette of pinks and red limestone affluent with Scyphocrinites Elegans throughout, within the stone, entrapped in time, once a riverbed where there reined many creatures. These unique marine colonies have preserved exceptionally for a such a natural display.
Scyphocrinites Elegans are rarely found attached to debris like drift-wood, whereupon the wood often blackens, creating an anchor for these once magnificent creatures to drift free, roaming the once ancient oceans we know so little about.
- It is theorised when driftwood became waterlogged sinking to the bottom the crinoids went with it.
- Crinoids have been found in the fossil record to have had stems up to 40 meters in length.
- Scyphocrinites Elegans are neither classed solely as a plant or animal, they are a subspecies between the two groups.
- A member of the Phylum Echinodermata; sea lily originates from the Greek, Krinon; Lily.
- As well as situating in coral reefs and shallow waters, the Sea lilies persist in our oceans today, dwelling at great depths as far as 6,000 meters / 4 miles.
- ANATOMY - The four main parts of the Scyphocrinites Elegans:
+ The Arms; composed of an articulated series of ossicles (Pinnules) used in suspension to feed and for respiration. The gonads are also located in the arms where fertilisation takes place in open sea water during mass spawning.
+ The Calyx; the crown or aboral cup containing the vital organs, much smaller compared to the overall total-mass, mostly devoted to food retainment.
+ The Stem; columned to support from the baluster root to the crown.
+ The Baluster; The Baluster bulb root is thought to have attached to driftwood, coral and possibly help the buoyancy of these large Scyphocrinites Elegans during migration through the currents of ancient oceans.
Overall this plate of Scyphocrinites Elegans Crinoidea specimens is exquisite, beautifully preserved and expertly conserved. Each individual crinoid exhibits soft pearly greys, delicately contrasting against the soft pink and red limestone background curating a wonderful combination of colour.