Excellent quality,natural Crinoid Stem fossils in a labeled plastic box.
Crinoids are characterized by a mouth on the top surface that is surrounded by feeding arms. They have a U-shaped gut, and their anus is located next to the mouth. Although the basic echinoderm pattern of five-fold symmetry can be recognized, most crinoids have many more than five arms.
Crinoids usually have a stem used to attach themselves to a substrate, but many live attached only as juveniles and become free-swimming as adults. There are only a few hundred known modern forms, but crinoids were much more numerous both in species and numbers in the past. Some thick limestone beds dating to the mid- to late-Paleozoic are entirely made up of disarticulated crinoid fragments.
Crinoids comprise three basic sections; the stem, the calyx, and the arms. The stem is composed of highly porous ossicles which are filled with muscular tissue. The Calyx contains the crinoid's digestive and reproductive organs, and the mouth is located at the top of the dorsal cup, while the anus is located peripheral to it. The brachials(arms) display pentameral symmetry and comprise smaller ossicles than the stem and are equipped with cirri which facilitate feeding by moving the organic media down the arm and into the mouth.