Amazing sea urchin, 100 million years old!

I came across this amazing sea urchin (echinoid) during my research for the new Living Planet Gallery.

It is about 100 million years old from the Cretaceous Chalk, probably from either Flamborough Head in North Yorkshire, or the South Downs around Dover. These areas are known for their towering white cliffs which were formed when there were warm tropical seas covering Britain.

This is a spectacular example of a sea urchin as it still has the spines attached. The spines were used for moving about and defense and usually break off after the animal died. The conditions must have been very quiet so that it was not disturbed and the spines remained intact.

A really beautiful specimen!

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2 Responses

  1. […] Amazing sea urchin, 100 million years old! These areas are known for their towering white cliff which were formed when there were warm tropical seas covering Britain. This is a spectacular example of a sea urchin as it still has the spines attached. […]

  2. […] Amazing sea urchin, 100 million years old! « Palaeo Manchester Blog […]

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