There are over 100 known species of echinoids found from the Florida Tertiary. Their proliferation was due partially to a warmer climate than today, but the fossil record is so complete mainly because most of them were infaunal (lived under or on the sea bottom) and therefore less likely to be destroyed before fossilization. There are several distinct geologic ages and formations in Florida that apply to not only echinoids but all fossils found in the state. Where I usually hunt there is only a limited geologic span where echinoids are found. The Middle and Late Eocene Ocala Limestone(which is found throughout the SE US) is where most of my collecting is done. It is divided into 3 distinct subformations, the Williston, Inglis and Crystal River. The Florida Eocene formations contain the most diverse group of echinoids, in numbers as well as species. The Late Oligocene is found in the Suwanee Limestone, and are rarely found here. Although other Miocene fossils are common here, I have never found any echinoids from that era.

Family Laganidae: usually tiny and hard to find intact

Laganum/Durhamella floridanum-Eocene

Laganum/Durhamella ocalanus-Eocene

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Limestone Sea Urchins and Sand Dollars

Family Neolaginidae: Hard to tell apart, a common find, Eocene

Neolagnum dalli- very rare

Neolagnum durhami-very thick margins

Weisbordella cubae - concave bottom

Wythella eldridgei - largest, hexagonal shape

Family Cassidulidae: An uncommon find here

Cassidulus/Rhyncholampas trojanus-very rare, Eocene

Cassidulus/Rhyncholampas gouldii-larger, Oligocene

Family Echinoneidae: (Subfamily Oligopyginae) : sea biscuits, very

common, most of the spine fragments probably come from this genus


Oligophygus weatherbyi - largest

Oligophygus haldemani-our most common find by far

Oligophygus phelani- smallest

Family Fibularidae: tiny, egg shaped, Eocene

Fibularia vaughani-rare, and very fragile

Family Schizasteridae: very rare here, Eocene

Agassizia clevei "floridanus" - small, very rare intact

Schizaster ocalanus-have only found 1 specimen

Family Spatangidae very rare here, largest in size, Eocene

Eupatagus antillarum-only 1 intact specimen