15" Moroccan Crinoid (Scyphocrinites) Plate

Here is a beautiful plate of Upper Silurian (420 million years old) crinoids (Scyphocrinites elegans) from Boutschrafin, Erfoud, Morocco. The plate is approximately 15 tall with two crinoid crowns exquisitely preserved on it. As with basically all crinoid specimens from this locality the matrix is repaired, as they come out of the ground in many pieces. Some of the stem on the crinoids maybe composites.

Crinoids where animals which were rooted to the floor of the ocean by a stem and had many armored feeding arms which they used to filter the water for food. They first appeared in the Ordovician period and are still alive today.

The Scyphocrinites crinoids are quarried around Erfoud, Morocco by digging straight down 16 feet until the layer is reached. Once the crinoid horizon is located a tunnel is dug along it by hand. The rock, dirt and crinoid slabs must then be hauled to the surface in baskets where they are reassembled and prepared. So it is a very labor intensive process to bring a beautiful crinoid plate like this one to market.
Scyphocrinites elegans
Boutschrafin, Erfoud, Morocco
15 x 9"
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