Exceptionally Rare Bundenbach Cystoid with Pyritized Preservation

Name: Regulaecystis pleurocystoides (cystoid)

Phylum Echninodermata; Subphylum Blastozoa; Class Cystoidea; Rhombifera

Geological Time: Lower Devonian Seigenian/Emsian Stage

Size: 40 mm by 8 mm on a 95 by 90 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Hunsruck Slate, Bundenbach Germany

Regulaecystis pleurocystoides Bundenbach CystoidWell-preserved example of a rarely-seen cystoid known as Regulaecystis pleurocystoides. Cystoids are also termed Rhombifera, a reference to the rhobohedral arrangement of pores on the calyx. The Hunsruck slate is famous for its fossils, many of which have pyritization present. Rapid burial and pyritization was what led to the many wonderful examples of early Devonian life from the region. The mudstones were metamorphosed into slate during the Carboniferous. The slate was quarried for roofing tiles, and the quarrymen would save the fossils for later sale. Now that the quarries are no longer open, future supplies of these wonderfully-preserved benthic organisms will only come from existing collections. Notice the fine details and the pyrite highlights, making this a spectacular example of so rare a specimen.

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