Crinoid the Extinct Sea Lily

Every Missourian should know about the crinoid; an extinct species of sea animal related to starfish. The strange alien plant like structure of this creature brought about it’s nickname “The sea lily”. Crinoids (Delocrinus missouriensis) flourished in the ocean that once covered the state around 300 million years ago, leaving behind copious fossilized remains. In 1989 crinoids became the official state fossil of Missouri due to their quantity across the state and accessibility to find. They are incredibly fascinating and even older than the Dinosaurs! The photo below is a collection of crinoids I personally found throughout rock beds in Sainte Genevieve Missouri.

Crinoid Fossil Stems the  Missouri State Fossil

To give you a better idea of how bizarre the full creature looks, I have compiled these photos of intact crinoid fossils. Special thanks to The Fossils Museum, Dr. Thomas Kammer, and Louisville Fossils for these images.

Crinoid Fossils

Crinoids are truly intriguing and there are still a few hundred species of them alive today. Yet the heyday of this extinct species is long over in Missouri. Now we can find their legacy scattered across the ground and enchant ourselves with their story.

Cranky David
I started Cranky Yellow in 2005 and I haven't stopped for a moment moving forward. I oversee nearly everything CY related. In my free time I enjoy biology, crafting monsters and assorted philosophy.

One thought on “Crinoid the Extinct Sea Lily”

  1. Wonderful Collection. Well displayed in a rows size-wise.
    It looks like wonderful fossil beads with center holes.
    i am also an hobby geologist, who is interested in study of crinoids.
    These fossila are beautifull to look at.
    Some of them Clusterred and others single “lily-like”.
    The Stem of Crinoids are made of interconnecting and articulating plates, covered by tissues and outer skin.
    The tissues and skin being soft destroyed, but the plates get scattered and fossilized over a period of time.
    Very attractive. If possible, can I have some specimens in all sizes.

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