Mississippian Dichocrinus multiplex

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Description

Here is a little but beautiful Fossil Crinoid from the Mississippian formations of central Iowa.

This is a fossil crinoid of the species Dichocrinus multiplex from the Gilmore City Formation of Gilmore City, Iowa. The rock has been meticulously removed using air abrasives to reveal the beautiful structure of this crinoid.

Crinoids, especially this Mississippian Dichocrinus Multiplex are sometimes commonly referred to as sea lilies but are animals, not plants. They are echinoderms related to starfish, sea urchins, and brittle stars. Many crinoid traits are like other members of their phylum; such traits include tube feet, radial symmetry, a water vascular system, and appendages in multiples of five . They first appeared in the Ordovician (488 million years ago) and some species are still alive in the deep oceans today.

The area around Gilmore City, Iowa was once the bottom of a tropical sea. Because it was a shallow sea many creatures lived there. But these Mississippian Dichocrinus multiplex crinoids were abundant and because of that we can still find these fossils today. The preservation is quite remarkable.

These were animals related to modern day starfish though people call them sea lilies.

Mississippian DICHOCRINUS Multiplex
Mississippian Period
Gilmore City Formation
Gilmore City, Iowa