Mindy Weisberger

Weird, multisided geometric shapes called buckyballs have been discovered in an unexpected place: marine animals that lived 80 million years ago. 

Microscopic forms of buckyballs have been found in molecules within cosmic dust, in gases and in some types of rocks. But researchers were surprised to find them at a much larger scale in fossils of two species of Cretaceous crinoids, which are relatives of modern starfish and sea urchins. The plates on the crinoids’ bodies created multifaceted, hollow structures that the scientists identified as buckyballs.

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