Fossil echinoderm collection

Dizgocrinus mon, fossil crinoid

Pentacrinites fossilis, a Lower Jurassic crinoid from Lyme Regis, Dorset

The diversity and abundance of echinoderm fossils is reflected in the Museum's large, world-class collection.

Fossil echinoderms are numerous, due in part to the fantastic preservation potential of the calcite plates that form their skeletons. They have been found in Phanerozoic marine sediments around the globe.

200,000                   1,800                         

Specimens                           Type specimens                 


With around 200,000 specimens, including more than 1,800 type and figured specimens, the Museum’s collection is representative of all classes of echinoderms.         

Collection strengths:

  • Palaeozoic and Mesozoic asterozoans
  • Mesozoic echinoids
  • Palaeozoic crinoids
  • carpoids (Homalozoa)
  • blastoids and cystoids

Countries of origin

The collection is representative of all continents.

Geological range

The full geological range of each group is represented in our collection:

  • Asterozoa (Cambrian to Recent)
  • Blastoidea (Cambrian to Permian)
  • Crinoidea (Cambrian to Recent)
  • Cystoids (Ordovician to Devonian)
  • Echinozoa (Cambrian to Recent)
  • Homolozoa including the carpoids (Cambrian to Carboniferous)

Looking for a specimen?

The fossil echinoderm collection is being digitised


Dr Tim Ewin

Any questions ?

If you would like to use any specimens for research   

Related information

Accessing the collections

Scientists and collections management specialists can visit the collections and borrow specimens for research.

Collections management

Our duty is to provide a safe and secure environment for all of our collections.

Collections on the move

We have set out on an ambitious programme to develop a new science and digitisation centre. As we prepare for the move, access to some collections will be affected. 

Find out more and sign up to our newsletter to receive updates on changes to collections access, relevant news and opportunities to get involved.