Crinoids belong to a group of marine invertebrates known as echinoderms, which include starfish, sea urchins and sand dollars. They are unusual, as they look more like plants than animals. They are known as sea lilies due to this flower-like appearance.
Crinoids filter plankton from sea water, and are attached to the sea floor. They were thought to be extinct, until some were found off the Norway coast.
Crinoid fossils are fairly widespread. Excellent fossils may be found in the Ordovician in Morocco, the Mississippian of the central U.S. and Canada, the Jurassic - Triassic of Germany, the Permian of Australia and Timor, and the Tertiary of Oregon.