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© 2008 Tom Maier
© 2004 Kansas Geological Survey
© 2005 The Virtual Fossil Museum
What are Echinoderms? Echinoderms, meaning “spiny-skinned,” include sand dollars, sea urchins, and sea stars, as well as less familiar creatures, such as sea cucumbers, crinoids, blastoids, and cystoids. This diverse group is entirely marine and is characterized by the presence of five-fold symmetry. Echinoderms have a specialized system of internal canals that circulates water through the body and services numerous, tiny appendages, called tube feet. They use their tube feet to move around or to capture food.
First known fossil occurrence: Cambrian.
Last known fossil occurrence: Quaternary. This group has living relatives.
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