Crinoids are not only similar to coral but are related


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      NSDL_SetSpec_ncs-NSDL-COLLECTION-000-003-111-985,NSDL,oai:nsdl.org:2200/20120110191034136T,compare the top view of the fossil specimen and the modern specimen; Even though the fossil coral (named Eridophyllum) had a long thin skeleton that branched out; the flat, unbranched, modern coral (Fungia) has the same basic shape; Notice the similar ridges radiating out; Every septa on the skeleton corresponds to a set of tentacles on the soft coral animal; The soft coral animal (polyp) rested on top of the skeleton; close-up of septae in Fungia; Both fossil and modern specimens show widening of the skeleton that reflects growth of the coral animal; The number of radiating ridges (septae) increases from the younger portion to the older portion of each specimen; These specimens show many similar features; The modern specimen is the skeleton of a coral; the fossil also represents a type of coral; there are enough differences between the two to cause us to call the fossil a different species, genus, Family and even Order



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