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Uploaded on:
17/03/2009 10:20:41
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P number: P549574
Caption: Tylocidaris clavigena, a fossil echinoid.
Description: This species lived in Europe, England to France and Denmark during the late Cretaceous times. It seems to have survived the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous, because it has been reported in the Eocene of North America. Its huge club-like spines must have put off all but the most persistent of predators. Tylocidaris clavigena has a middle-sized, rounded test, but flattened at the top and bottom. Many plates that make up the test have a large tubercle or node on which the ribbed club-like spines were attached. The specimen illustrated here has also retained the teeth that protrude from the mouth on the underside of the test. Echinoids (sea urchins) have lived in marine habitats since the Ordovician times, about 450 million years ago. They still live today, inhabiting many shallow near-shore seas around the world. As fossil echinoids resemble living species, we have an idea how they must have lived. They had spines which were used for protection. Some species protected themselves from carnivores by having poison-tipped spines while others had large, unpalatable solid spines. Echinoids burrowed into the sand or crawled over the sea floor on their tubed feet, which extended from the paired pores on the star-like or petal-like areas (the ambulacra). They grazed and scavenged algae and plants or ate small particles in the sandy substrate.
Photographer: Unknown
Copyright statement: Unknown
Orientation: Landscape
Size: 420.89 KB; 1000 x 838 pixels; 85 x 71 mm (print at 300 DPI); 265 x 222 mm (screen at 96 DPI);
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Categories: Best of BGS Images/ Fossils  


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