About Saccocoma tenella
A small free swimming sealily from the Jurassic of Solnhofen, Germany. Saccocoma means in Latin “sack with hairs“. It is the most common macro fossil to be found in that area. It could reach to about 5 cm in diameter, when stretched out. It has ten filter feeding arms which it also used to move itself through the seas. Its body is a lot smaller than its arms and on the underside you can find its mouth.
Age and Distribution
Saccocoma tenella is from the Upper Jurassic of Germany. This crinoid lived approximately 150 million years ago. At the time this area was full of small athols and lagoons, which covered most what is now southern Germany. At this time it was nearer the equator. Saccocoma tenella co-inhabited the athols with one of the most famous animals of that time: the Archaeopteryx. Besides them flying overhead, there were also flying reptiles like: Pterodactylus, Rhamphorhynchus, Anurognathus and a few others. In the warm waters one could encounter marine reptiles like the Ichthyosaurus, Cricosaurus, fishes, sharks, cephalopods and crustaceans and many more. There are about 800 or so known fauna of the Solnhofen area.
About the Roveacrinida Saccocoma tenella
The Roveacrinida are an extint group of criniods. The oldest of this group are from the Triassic. This group disappears from the known fossil record at just before the Cretaceous extinction event. On a side note, one of the localities in the Solnhofen area. Blumenberg, is named after the Saccocoma (flower mountian). The local people in the Middle Ages thought that they were flowers in stone.
S. tenella belongs to the Saccocomidae which is a subclass of the Roveacrinida. There are apparently four discribed species of Saccocoma of which only one has intact specimens, the Saccocoma tenella.