Sunday, March 28, 2010

Crinoids in living color

Browsing the internet to learn about the relationship between crinoids and oil deposits (and after seeing 100s of images of sandy-colored crinoids), I'm amazed to find that these fossils and probably the living animal can be purple.

Source of image and information: "Preservation of hypericin and related polycyclic quinone pigments in fossil crinoids" by Klaus Wolkenstein, Jurgen Gross, Heinz Falk, Heinz Scholer, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Biological Sciences

A man named Blumer discovered a remarkable group of organic pigments (fringelites) in purple to violet coloured specimens of the Jurassic crinoid ‘Millericrinus’ (=Liliocrinus) from northern Switzerland. These pigments are also accompanied by several polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which were proposed as transformation products of the pigments .

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