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2751 Views 9 Replies Last post: Jan 24, 2014 9:52 PM by Dan RSS
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Jan 23, 2014 8:01 PM

Echinoid spine

Hi.  I went fossil hunting in the summer holidays of last year to Mallorca, and the fossils there are Neogene aged.  I showed some of my fossils from this location, like the Brachiopod with worm burrowings, but I've done some research on these pieces and I believe they could be Echinoid spines (?)




Am I right?



I've also showed a picture of some very simular fossils which I found on Google.



Any replies would be really appriciated because I've always wanted to find an Echinoid fossil (although I did find one complete one, but it was stuck in a boulder, but it was quite loose so hopefully it will have eroded and it will come out when I go back next year.)

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2014 8:31 PM (in response to Dan)
    Re: Echinoid spine



    1. The shape is a bit clubby, reminiscent of that sort of echinoid spine (well represented by the images of Pseudocidaris in the images in the last link). But I am fairly sure it is a piece of sediment containing small corals; the overall shape being insignificant.


    2 & 3. Not an echinoid spine; they are never bent (at least not that I've seen). It may be a piece of sedimentary rock representing a burrow. Recently, as a pebble, no.3, appears to have become encrusted with a bryozoan colony.


    (4. the same specimens, OK)


    Echinoid spines are quite interesting objects in that each one is a single crystal of calcite - a remarkable construction for an animal. They have internal structure not only in terms of their crystallography, but also by way of pores and growth rings. Read more here


    Because of their single-crystal structure, echinoid spines never have the sort of feature shown running across your specimen in your first photo.


    I wish you luck in your echinoid quest.



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