Fossil starfish from Solnhofen
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161-145 million years old
These starfish belong to the Sinosura kelheimen and lived in the late Jurassic some 161-145 million years ago in what is now Germany. The starfish lived in a lagoon that was regularly cut off from the sea. The high salt content in both the water and the sediment has ensured that deceased animals could be well preserved and fossilized.
There are several limestone quarries in the Altmühltal in Germany. The village of Solnhofen lies in the middle of this area. The limestone from the area has taken its name from this village. In reality there are tens of kilometers of limestone quarries. The chance to find fossils here yourself is not even very great. However, there are regular finds from the area due to the large scale of industrial limestone extraction. This is mainly used for house building, sculpture or as decorative stone.