Could any amateur fossil identifier** tell me, please, what these mounted specimens are - they came from the Ivory Coast and are very fragile. I am not sure whether they are true fossils or not.
( **I tried the NHM staff several weeks ago, using name and address suplied by their department over the phone, but they never replied).
You will need to enlarge the image to see the 'hairs' all around the legs of this starfish-like impression.
They are sand dollars, sea urchins of the order Clypeasteroida.
Their larvae can clone themselves as a self-defense mechanism.
Lovely speciments I agree with Mike and am very grateful for his support on NaturePlus.
The reason you did not get a resplonse from the NHM - I have been off sick since February 25th, colleagues have been covering (working very hard in addition to their workload) but due to the large number enquiries unfortunately the response has not been as quick as we would have liked it to be.
I hope to be back in full capacity by July if you wish to contact me by phone. I hope you find the following site interesting:
All the very best,