View full screen - View 1 of Lot 81. A REMARKABLE FOSSIL SEA LILY MURAL.
81

A REMARKABLE FOSSIL SEA LILY MURAL

Estimate:

60,000

to
- 80,000 USD

A REMARKABLE FOSSIL SEA LILY MURAL

A REMARKABLE FOSSIL SEA LILY MURAL

Estimate:

60,000

to
- 80,000 USD

Lot sold:

81,250

USD

A REMARKABLE FOSSIL SEA LILY MURAL 

LIAS EPSILON II 3 FORMATION IN HOLZMADEN, SOUTHERN GERMANY


Crinoid seirocrinus subangularis (Plaque: 224 x 124 cm; Crown: 70 cm), lower Jurassic (174-182 million years ago). A exquisite and beautifully conserved specimen, with an unusually large, open calyx, complete with attached fossilized driftwood. 


The Seirocrinus subangularis is scientifically part of the Echinoderm class, which in Greek means "spikey skin." It is a very ancient marine animal group, with its first fossils appearing around the Cambian. There are about 7,000 species living today, with the most famous being the sea urchin; the some 13,000 other species of this class are all extinct. 


A number of unique characteristics that appear nowhere else in the animal kingdom give these "Sea Lilies" a surrealistic appearance, most notably its pentaradial symmetry and a water vascular system that maintains hydraulic pressure in the tube feet. 


Despite the name, and its flower-like appearance, they were not actually plants, but rather, beautifully colored tentacular invertebrate sea animals. The animal would open its calyx (resembling the petals of a flower), which contain a filter-like organ, permitting it to capture and feed off of sea-plankton. Sea Lilies would often attach themselves to driftwood as part of a colony, or, as in the case of this superb specimen, as a solitary animal drifting freely in the sea — we can even clearly see the mass of wood that this specimen was attached to, fossilized along with its inhabitant. 

To request a condition report for this lot, please email science@sothebys.com.