1" Fossilized Sand Dollar 150 Million-Years-Old | Artifact #G3019

Size Guide

This Sand Dollar Lived 150 Million Years Ago... and is now immortalized in stone

A Sand Dollar is the endoskeleton of an animal, specifically and Echinoderm – the group of animals made up of starfish, sea cucumbers, crinoids and sea urchins. It is this endoskeleton that you see washed up on the beaches here on the Oregon coast. Biologists call this rigid skeleton a “test.”

Like its very close relative the sea urchin, Sand Dollars have a set of five pores arranged in a petal-like pattern. The Sand Dollar uses the pores to move sea water into their internal water-vascular system, allowing them to move. The small, round hole on the underside of the Sand Dollar is its mouth. Sand Dollars live partially buried in the sand at an angle in calm water. If the water is rough, the Sand Dollar lies flat. They eat tiny particles and organisms that float through sea water.

And What is a Fossil?

A fossil is the prehistoric remains of a plant or animal. Most fossils are created when a plant or animal is buried under layer after layer of sand and mud. Under the massive pressure of hundreds of thousands of years these layers become sedimentary rock. Minerals from the rock seep into the plant or animal, replacing them with a perfect replica in stone.