Fossil sea stars and brittle stars

Beautiful fossil starfish and brittle stars that are millions of years old. Fossil finds of these fragile creatures are rare in the world. Read more.

Nice quality fossil starfish from the late Jurassic (161-145 million years old). Found in the famous limestone quarries ...

EUR 39,95

Starfish or brittle star?

The fossil starfish and brittle star from Morocco are among the oldest fossils on earth. It is especially remarkable that both animals are still living in our oceans and seas in almost unchanged form! The two animals are closely related and the difference lies mainly in their shape. Starfish can have between five and forty arms, whereas brittle stars always have five. The arms of the starfish pass into the central body, while the arms of the brittle star are attached to a central part. Both have calcite legs that form a skeletal structure. However with the starfish these are fused together, while the arms of the brittle star are independent of each other.

Southern Morocco

In southern Morocco there are a number of formations where starfish and brittle stars are found. The best known deposits are the Tiourine formation and the Kataoua area. These fossils are among the oldest ever found and date back to the Ordovician (485 to 443 million years old).

Solnhofen Germany

The starfish and brittle stars from Solnhofen Germany are between 161 and 145 million years old. The animals lived in a lagoon that was regularly closed off from the sea. The high salt content in both the water and the sediment ensured that deceased animals could be well preserved and fossilised. Nowadays they are found in small numbers in the limestone quarries around Solnhofen.

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