It feels fairly safe to browse mostly outdoor Denio’s flea and farmer’s market in Roseville so I hit my wacky rock and mineral guy’s booth on Saturday. Hard to tell if he believes his own sales spiels or not but he is funny.
He just missed selling an incredible one foot long geode slice because the customer wanted one with more purple. When they left he told me the geode didn’t like being mounted vertically. OK. I said “sure”.
Anyhow, Mineral Man gives all passers-by some polished stones like little agates or amethysts. And he sold the sand dollar to me for $4 USD.
Sand dollars are species of flat, burrowing sea urchins belonging to the order Clypeasteroida. In life they are purple and fuzzy with feeder feet on top directing tiny food bits into its mouth where they are chewed for fifteen minutes sometimes.
They can live for years but for only minutes out of the water. So if you find one stranded just gently place it back in the water. Collecting live ones is often illegal.
These things still exist in nearly thirty species with many more then that number having gone extinct. They are very ancient yet look similar to living ones, so I don’t know how old mine is and Mineral Man was no help. He said it was so old it was only a sand fifty cent piece. Bada boom, tip your waiter.
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