Hunsruck slate Crinoid Codiacrinus

Codiacrinus schultzei

Phylum Echinodermata; Order Cladida; Family Codiacrinidae

Geological Time: Lower Devonian Seigenian/Emsian Stage

Size: Calyx: 45 mm by 30 mm with 45 mm stem attached on a 198 by 157 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Hunsruck Slate, Bundenbach, Germany

Codiacrinus schultzei This exceptionally well preserved specimen is the Cladid crinoid known as Codiacrinus schultzei. 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 chemistry of the silt was such that low organic content and high levels of iron and sulfur allowed the pyrite to diffuse into the tissues rather than be deposited in the sediment. 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, fossils of these wonderfully preserved benthic organisms will only come from existing collections. This one is quite complete, and includes an attached section of stem. Its pyritization serves as an artistic counterpoint to the rich black slate, making for a truly striking fossil.

Also see: Fossils of the Hunsrück Slate in Bundenbach Germany

click fossil pictures to enlarge

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