Jurassic Solnhofen Crinoid
Pterocoma Formosa
Solnhofen Limestone
Upper Jurassic (Tithonian)
Eichstatt, Germany
This is a good example of the free-swimming crinoid Pterocoma. It is a feather-star whose 10 slender arms can reach lengths up to 10 cm. Their delicate structure give the animal a graceful appearance. Two species are found in the Solnhofen deposits but it is debatable whether or not both are valid. This genus was formerly known as Antedon.
The Solnhofen Plattenkalk, or Solnhofen limestone, is a Jurassic Konservat-Lagerstätte that preserves a rare assemblage of fossilized organisms, including highly detailed imprints of soft bodied organisms such as sea jellies. The most familiar fossils of the Solnhofen Plattenkalk include the early feathered theropod dinosaur Archaeopteryx preserved in such detail that they are among the most famous and most beautiful fossils in the world. The Solnhofen beds lie in the German state of Bavaria (Bayern), halfway between Nuremberg (Nürnberg) and Munich (München) and were originally quarried as a source of Lithographic limestone.