2.3" Cretaceous Brittle Star (Geocoma) Fossil - Lebanon

This is a 2.3" wide fossil brittle star (Geocoma libanotica) from the Upper Cretaceous deposits near Hakel, Lebanon.

Geocoma is a genus of Ophiuroidea or what most people refer to as brittle stars. Brittle stars have a distinct central disc and five radiating, slender, highly flexible arms. The arms are solid and not hollow like those of starfish. Unlike starfish they moved by flexing their arms rather than through the movement of tube feet on the arms. They would have fed on small particles of food they found along the sea floor. The Geocoma genus is known from both Jurassic and Cretaceous aged deposits, in particular the Solnhofen Limestone in German and the Middle Cretaceous, Lebanese deposits.

The discovery of amazingly preserved marine fossils near Hakel, Lebanon dates back many centuries. In fact, they were first mentioned in writing by Herodotus, over 450 years before the birth of Christ. The first scientific work on these localities began in the 1800s and these deposits have been meticulously quarried by several Lebanese families for over a century. We purchase our specimens directly from one of these families that has worked the quarries for generations.

These deposits represent a warm, shallow sea and have yielded over 70 types of fish as well as numerous other genera found nowhere else in the world. The preservation on many of these specimens is truly amazing including examples of soft bodied preservation.

A photo of the quarry at Hakel, Lebanon
A photo of the quarry at Hakel, Lebanon

Geocoma libanotica
Hakel, Byblos, Lebanon
Sannine Formation
2.3" wide on 4.3 x 2.4" rock
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