8.7" Crinoid (Lyriocrinus) Fossil - Rochester Shale, New York
This is a 8.7" crinoid (Lyriocrinus dactylus) fossil from the famous Rochester Shale near Middleport, New York. Fossils from this quarry and in particular crinoids are getting harder and harder to come by. The crinoid has a nice, long section of stem attached as well as some bryozoan fossils present on the shale.
Crinoids, sometimes commonly referred to as sea lilies, are animals, not plants. They are echinoderms related to starfish, sea urchins, and brittle stars. Many crinoid traits are like other members of their phylum; such traits include tube feet, radial symmetry, a water vascular system, and appendages in multiples of five (pentameral). They first appeared in the Ordovician (488 million years ago) and some species are still alive today.