Detailed Cretaceous Lebanese Brittle Star Fossil

Name: Geocoma libanotica

Phylum: Echinodermata; Class: Ophiuroidea

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

Size: 83 mm and 27 mm across on a 138 mm by 132 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Haqel, Lebanon

Brittlestar FossilThis is a rarely seen member of the Ophiuroidea, or Brittlestars, a large example of Geocoma libanotica. The generic name is derived from the location (Lebanon), an area better known for its fine preserved fish and Crustaceans. The sublithographic limestone also preserved incredible detail here as well. The genus is also known from the Jurassic deposits of Solnhofen, Germany Brittlestar Fossilwhere Geocoma carinata is often seen. These Brittlestars are over 50 million years younger, showing that the genus was quite long-lived. Brittlestars are able to regenerate lost arms. The most spectacular feature of the larger example which is seen in ventral mode is the 3-D preservation of the arms. Unlike most which are relatively featureless, this one has great detail; if you run your finger over the arms, the ambulacral detail is strikingly evident.

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