Crinoid (Eperisocrinus missouriensis)


The crinoid became Missouri’s official fossil in 1989 after a group of Lee’s Summit students worked through the legislative process to promote it as a state symbol. There are many species of fossilized crinoids found in Missouri. Specifically, Missouri’s official state fossil is Eperisocrinus missouriensis (formerly Delocrinus missouriensis). Crinoids are animals that were found in the inland sea that once covered Missouri. It is nicknamed the “sea lily” because of its plantlike appearance. Crinoids are echinoderms related to starfish and sand dollars.

E. missouriensis was first described in 1890 after it was discovered near Kansas City in the Upper Coal Measures. The fossil may date to the Carboniferous geologic period. Its discoverers, S.A. Miller and William Gurley, submitted their findings to natural history journals, and Gurley retained the original fossil in his personal collection until the Field Museum in Chicago acquired it. The genus remained Delocrinus until 1977 when it was re-classified as Eperisocrinus by J.J. Burke.


Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo)

§10.090. State fossil. – The fossilized remains of Crinoidea, scientifically designated as Delocrinus Missouriensis, is declared to be the official state fossil of Missouri. (L. 1989 H.B. 515 §1)

approved 13 June 1989
effective 28 August 1989


Photo Gallery:

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Additional Resources:

Burke, J.J. “Eperisocrinus New Genus (Crinoidea, Inadunata): Type Species Delocrinus Missouriensis Miller and Gurley, 1890.” The Ohio Journal of Science 77, no. 4 (July-August 1977): 174-178.

Gentile, Richard J. “Upper Carboniferous Crinoids: An Extraordinary Collection by Late 19th Century Ameateur Paleontologists, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.” The Geological Curator 7, no. 10 (2003): 373-380.

Miller, S.A., and Wm. F.E. Gurley. “Description of Some New Genera and Species of Echinodermata, from the Coal Measures and Subcarboniferous Rocks of Indiana, Missouri and Iowa.” The Journal of the Cincinnati Society of Natural History XIII, no. 1 (April 1890): 14, Plate II.

Pabian, Roger K., and Harrell L. Strimple. “Some Crinoids from the Argentine Limestone (Late Pennsylvania-Missourian) of Southeastern Nebraska and Southwestern Iowa.” Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences and Affiliated Societies (1980).


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