Sand Dollar (3/4 - 1.25 inch around polished)
SAND DOLLAR (polished)
Origin: Madagascar, Africa
Ancestors appeared in the Cambrian period, 500+ mya. (?)
The sand dollar is an Echinoid...an organism with a hard globular (round) skeleton with thin columns of calcite plates. Echinoids also have a ball and socket structure which allows them to move their spines for defense, mating, food foraging, or whatever strikes their fancy. The bottoms of these beautiful sand dollars have super duper tiny feet :)
PS…they travel quite slowly to their destinations.
Sand dollars can be flat, rounded, or large mound shaped and can school together in large numbers at ocean floors in sand, rock, coral, chalk, and mud. Burying themselves in mud/sand helps them with food finding missions, rest, and avoid predation. Sharp teeth eat food sources such as diatoms (algae with a shell), seaweed, tiny particles in sand/mud/rock, sea sponges, and potentially sunken ocean creatures. Please enjoy these super cool fossil creatures.