Ophiopetra Brittle Star Fossils - Solnhofen

This is a pair of Jurassic aged brittle star (Ophiopetra lithographica) from the famed Solnhofen Limestone of Germany. They are fairly large for the species at around 1.4" wide and located on a thick, 6.2x4" piece of limestone.

The Solnhofen limestones is a famous Lagerstätte in Germany that offer amazing preservation of Upper Jurassic fossils. It is where one of the most famous fossils of all time, Archaeopteryx was found. The fine grained limestone makes excellent building materials which has led to heavy quarrying over the past two centuries, which has resulted in some amazing fossils being unearthed.

This area represented an archipelago at the edge of a sea. Due to high salt content, the lowest levels in the water column could not support much life and was devoid of oxygen. This lack of scavengers on the bottom of the sea led to amazing preservation of the fauna found there.
Ophiopetra lithographica
Hienheim, Germany
Solnhofen Limestone
Brittlestars ~1.4", Matrix 6.2x4"
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