Camptostroma roddyi

For a long time, the camptostroma was thought to be a jelly-fish of some sort. In fact, current research indicates that it was a free floating creature with hanging arms, like a jellyfish. However, it is in fact now recognized as an early free-floating echinoderm. Its descendants became attached to rocks and the sea-floor. The camptostroma may well have been one of the first 5-way symmetry echinoderms, eventually spawning such classes of echinoderms as the asteroids (star fish), edrioasteroids (an extinct group of echinoderms), and echinoids (sand-dollars and sea-urchins).

About the specimen

This Camptostroma roddyi is from the Kinzers Formation from the Cambrian, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania.

My Camptostroma

(left) My Camptostroma fossil. A bit hard to make out any details. On the right rock, towards the lower right corner of the radiating from the center, you can see a spine. (right) A possible reconstruction of the camptostroma. It obviously doesn't show perfect radial symmetry. The spine I pointed out on my own specimen, I believe, is the top middle ray of the star pictured on the reconstruction. The dark spot on the reconstruction seems to have an analog in the upper left center part of the fossil specimen, as you can see a dark spot there, too.

Second image from the Palaeos website.

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