Hunsruck Slate, Bundenbach, Germany
Now closed to excavation, the Hunsruck Slate yielded some of the worlds finest Early Devonian fossils; it is famous for spectacular specimens displaying superior preservation. This virtually complete brittlestar specimen is a wonderful example of the superb quality of fossils from this locality. Though the brittlefish resembles a starfish it is actually an ophiuroid; both are echinoderms but are only distantly related. Brittlestars possess five very long and thin arms. Loriolaster exhibits skin or web between the arms, giving it its starfish-like appearance; pyritization introduced early in the fossilization process is responsible for the preservation of the delicate web. The use of the webbing is speculative; some believe it aided the brittlestar in clinging to soft surfaces, others theorize that it helped capture prey.
Specimen measures Presentation measures 11 3/8 x 9 7/8 x ½in