Crinoid Fossil

Marine Fossil
Scientific Name: unknown

Crinoids, also known as sea lilies, are related to starfish, sea urchins, and sea cucumbers. They are still alive today, though they are not as common or as large as they were during the Paleozoic. Many crinoids, including the oldest forms, attach themselves to the seafloor with a long stalk made up of stacks of calcareous rings called ossicles; others, called “feather stars”, are free-floating. Both kinds catch plankton with a set of feathery arms at the top of the stalk. The ossicles fossilize very well, while the delicate arms are rarely preserved. The stalks often fall apart after the crinoid dies. This particular fossil, collected from the 270 million year old Kaibab Limestone, preserves both loose ossicles and ossicles joined together as part of a stalk. It was displayed at the Yavapai Geology Museum from 1999 until 2005, when the exhibits were updated.

3D Crinoid Fossil
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

A 3D model. This model shows a rock with fossils on the surface. The model can be rotated and tilted using a computer interface.

Species: unknown

Collected from the Kaibab Limestone in Grand Canyon National Park.

This fossil is in the collections at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Learn about paleontology in the National Park Service:

Learn more about Grand Canyon National Park’s Centennial:

Part of a series of articles titled Grand Canyon Collections—Paleontology.

Grand Canyon National Park

Last updated: May 3, 2021