Fossil Sand Dollar in Matrix

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The term sand dollar (or sea cookie or snapper biscuit in New Zealand, or pansy shell in South Africa) refers to species of extremely flattened, burrowing sea urchins belonging to the order Clypeasteroida. Some species within the order, not quite as flat, are known as sea biscuits. The sand dollar's mouth has a jaw with five teeth like sections to grind up tiny plants and animals. Sometimes a sand dollar "chews" its food for fifteen minutes before swallowing. It can take two days for the food to digest. Scientists can age a sand dollar by counting the growth rings on the plates of the exoskeleton. Sand dollars usually live six to 10 years.

Miocene aged (23 million year old) sand dollars collected in the D'Angers Region of France. It is still embedded in the limestone matrix in which it was found but has been prepared to remove the rock from on top of it and fully expose it.