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The crinoids were a creature similar to today’s sea lilies. They were a marine animal, often living in groups of several thousand individuals. In the past crinoids lived all over the ocean, but today’s closest relative the sea lily, lives only at depths of over 100 meters. The end part or crown of the crinoid was made up of several feeding arms, as little as 5 feedings arms or as many as 200. This is where the microorganisms would pass through and the crinoids would feed. The holdfast would anchor the crinoid to the ocean bottom. The stem attached the 2 parts. The crinoids survived several mass extinctions making it one of the most successful forms of life on earth. Fossil crinoids were gathered by the ancients and used for medicine. As crinoids are one of the most delicate of all the fossil forms, they are sought after by museums and collectors.
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