A highly important museum quality crinoid plate crammed with fossils from one of the earliest periods of prehistoric life, displaying multiple colonies of fossil Scyphocrinites Elegans and reaching a total length of 7.8ft. Comparing this size to other large museum specimens of the world, as the 1.6-meter specimen exhibited at the Musée des Confluences in Lyon.
Scyphocrinites Elegans are a class of the Camarocrinus, cystoids and echinoderms; relatives of modern day starfish and sea urchins. The echinoderms earliest begginings are recorded in fossils of the Cambrian period to the great barrier reef of modern times.
The individual Crinoidea laid down upon a palette of softer pink to a deep wine red matrix (fossil rock-limestone) crammed throughout with specimen fossils, once an ancient seabed. The unique marine colony of pelagic Crinoidea preserved exceptionally well. The author suggests the pelagic colony may have been overcome by a primary disaster scenario, a tsunami type event which may have overwhelmed the animals causing sinking to the sea floor and quickly covering the colony, covering them with debris and silts and sea once again, so the process of bacterial breakdown was minimalised and in this way the Crinoidea were preserved in an anoxic environment.
Jurassic Cystoids are sometimes discovered attached to drift-wood, floating debris of fallen forests of that period of time, creating an anchor for the creatures to pelagically drift free.
- 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.