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Sea Urchin Coloring Page
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Most of the fossil echinoids from the Paleozoic era are incomplete, consisting of isolated spines and small clusters of scattered plates from crushed individuals, mostly in Devonian and Carboniferous rocks. The shallow-water limestones from the Ordovician and Silurian periods of Estonia are famous for echinoids. Paleozoic echinoids probably inhabited relatively quiet waters. Because of their thin tests, they would certainly not have survived in the wave-battered coastal waters inhabited by many modern echinoids. During the upper part of the Carboniferous period, a marked decline in echinoid diversity occurred, and this trend continued to the Permian period. They neared extinction at the end of the Paleozoic era, with just six species known from the Permian period. Only two lineages survived this period's massive extinction and into the Triassic: the genus Miocidaris, which gave rise to modern cidaroida (pencil urchins), and the ancestor that gave rise to the euechinoids. By the upper part of the Triassic period, their numbers began to increase again. Cidaroids have changed very little since the Late Triassic and are today considered to be living fossils.


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