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Pronounced – Krin-oid
Meaning of name – From the Greek krinoeides (meaning ‘like a lily’)
Group – Echinoderm
Age – Lower Jurassic, around 195 million years old

Crinoids or ‘sea lilies’ were not plants as their name suggests, but animals related to starfish and sea urchins. They have lived in our oceans for millions of years and can still be found today. They lived attached to the sea bed or to the underside of driftwood. The body consists of a long stem or stalk with the mouth, organs and five branching arms at the top. The arms are covered with small, sticky tube feet that the animal uses to catch tiny plants and animals (plankton) that drift along in the sea.

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Still alive today...

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Crinoids are still alive today and can be found in both shallow and deep sea, but are more common at deeper depths. Although the modern crinoids are not the same species as the ones we find fossilised in the Jurassic, studying the living relatives can help us to understand how ancient crinoids would have lived.

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