Each of these specimens were collected and polished by hand, by me!
Discovered in Central California, these fossil sand dollars represent a species of echinoderm that no longer exist in modern times. This specific species of Dendraster, the D. gibbsii, was abundant off shore the Miocene to Pliocene coastline of a region that would have stretched from roughly south of San Francisco, California south to Baja, Mexico. Living along what must have been thousands of sea snails, oysters, barnacles, and scallops, these tropical seas were also home to many fish and shark species, evident by the other fossils discovered at this site.
These fossil sand dollars are found in a section of the Etchegoin Formation in Kings county, California. Occasionally these sand dollar fossils will have hints of orange, brown, and black skeletal preservation from petroleum staining, resulting in amazing and dramatic patterns.