Answer Monday

Last week on Fossil Friday, we encountered a little ocean delight and we asked, what’s its genus...and its very lovely common name? The common name should have been obvious. Just look at it—it looks like a flower, and sure enough this organism is called a “sea lily.” 

But what was the genus? Why, it is a Glyptocrinus, of course. Well done, Gerald Wilgus!

From the Encyclopedia Britannica:

“Sea lily, any crinoid marine invertebrate animal (class Crinoidea, phylum Echinodermata) in which the adult is fixed to the sea bottom by a stalk. Other crinoids (such as feather stars) resemble sea lilies; however, they lack a stalk and can move from place to place. The sea lily stalk is surmounted by a bulbous body with frond-like tentacles, and the animal resembles a plant. The stem consists of limy disks, and the body has an internal skeleton of close-fitting limy plates...More than 5,000 extinct species—some 20 m (65 feet) long—are known. They are important index fossils of the Paleozoic Era (from 542 million to 251 million years ago).”

Minda Berbeco
Short Bio

Minda Berbeco is the former Programs and Policy Director at NCSE.

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