Pansy Shell/Sand Dollar Fossil (Mepygurus) from Madagascar
Panys Shell/Sand Dollar Fossil (Mepygurus) from Madagascar
Size: 83mm x 79mm x 23mmm Approximately
Weight: 178 gram
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This is a fossil of an extinct species of sand dollar, Mepygurus Marmonti from Madagascar. It has been polished to bring out the surface detail and dates to approximately 150 million years ago.
A sand dollar is a highly flattened form of urchin of the order Clypeasteroida. As an echinoderm, they have a pentameral symmetry to their body organization, a water vascular system, and an endoskeleton made of calcite plates. They live in shallow marine environments just below the low tide line, buried in the sand or mud. They range up to about 4 inches (10cm) in diameter and most are about a third (7mm) to half (12mm) an inch thick but some are over an inch thick. They are basically circular in shape, with some having flattened or indented sides. Living, they are covered with velvety looking spines that they use to move. The most diagnostic indicator of fossil sand dollars is the five ovate form on the top side of the skeleton. These are part of the respiratory system and leave an easily identified “flower” on the skeleton. They are active predators, feeding on crustacean larvae, small copepods diatoms and algae.
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The piece in the photos is of the piece you will receive.