An image that recently gained widespread attention on social media features remarkably well-preserved fossils belonging to a marine creature that thrived 280 million years ago. So, what precisely was this enigmatic creature?
These fossils are none other than those of Jimbacrinus crinoids, commonly known as sea lilies, and they were unearthed in Western Australia. These marine organisms inhabited the Earth around 280 million years ago during the Permian period, and their fossilized remains provide invaluable insights into the evolutionary history and biodiversity of our planet.
The fossils initially captured the imagination of the public through a widely circulated image, showcasing them arranged in a manner suggesting they were once entombed in sedimentary rock within their natural habitat. It’s reported that these fossils were discovered in the vicinity of Gascoyne Junction, an isolated region in Western Australia renowned for its geological diversity.
The otherworldly appearance of the Jimbacrinus bostocki crinoids, which were once abundant in the shallow seas that once covered a significant portion of Western Australia during the Permian era, traces its discovery back to 1949. They were found by Mr. J. Bostock, after whom the species itself was named, on the Jimba Jimba cattle station. These fossils originate from the Cundlego Formation, a sandstone stratum formed by flooding and storm-related sediment deposition during the Early Permian period, approximately 275 million years ago.
These fossil deposits were unearthed along the dry bed of a creek and encompass the fossilized remains of various species that inhabited the seafloor during that geological era. Intriguingly, these fossils are typically found in pristine condition and have not been discovered in any other location.