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HARDER and Harder to obtain Crinoid fossils.
Fossils especially this Alabama Crinoid Fossil from this site are preserved in Spectacular detail. Because of the wide variety and number of these Crinoids it is also assumed they lived in dense communities.
This Phanocrinus formosus Crinoid is actually an animal related to modern day starfish so they are echinoderms. They have modern relatives also crinoids that live in the deep oceans today. So then they lived in shallow salt water seas and lagoons. They lived during the Paleozoic and were most prevalent during the Mississippian Period.
Although there were many species of Crinoids, they shared a basic body styles consisting of a stem by which it anchored to the sea floor with a “holdfast”. A calyx which enclosed soft body tissues, and arms and pinnules which filtered food from the water.
This Alabama Crinoid Fossil thrived in the warm shallow inland sea that covered the area during the Mississippian Period some 350 million years ago. Because the crinoids living near what is now Lacon, Alabama they were established near an ocean delta system that periodically buried the colonies in silt. However the silt eventually hardened into stone that preserved the crinoids in glorious detail.
The Crinoid has exceptional detail . This fossil is 1 1/2 inches long from the tip to the end of the short stem column. It has been meticulously prepared using air abrasive technology. It also has various bryozoans on the plate as well. This includes Fenestella and Archimedes.