Rare Free-Swimming Cretaceous Crinoids from Lebanon

Name: Family Antedontidae; Antedon pinnulata

Geological Time: Cretaceous Lower Cenomanian Stage (95 million years ago)

Size: 115 mm by 90 mm (maximum) on a 140 by 100 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Haqel, Lebanon

crinoidsThis is an exquisitely preserved example of a free-swimming, stemless crinoid from the Cretaceous Sublithographic Limestone of Haqel, Lebanon, currently known as Antedon. The genus has been called Pterocoma , but that genus is preoccupied by a genus of insects established in 1834. The elongated pinnules seem to be an adaptation to a low current environment. The long pinnules would be better able to filter out the limited food supplies, giving this crinoid an advantage over others. The genus was quite long-lived in that it was found in the Jurassic deposits of Solnhofen, Germany. There are additional partial examples found in the upper left and center of the plaque. Examples of crinoids from the Cenomanian (95 million year old) deposits of Lebanon are not readily available, making this a unique opportunity to enhance a collection of crinoids.

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