Seashells (Gryphaea)

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Pronounced – Gry-fi-a
Meaning of name – Grabber
Group – Bivalve, Mollusc
Age – Lower Jurassic, around 195 million years old

These fossil sea shells are also known as ‘Devil’s toenails’, because their shape resembles overgrown toenails. They are actually ancient relatives of modern day oysters. They would have rested on the Jurassic seafloor, opening up their two shells to filter feed.

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Gryphaea

Gryphaea
Picture 1 of 3

This is an artist’s impression of what these ancient oysters may have looked like alive on the seafloor 195 million years. Next to the drawing is a picture of an actual Gryphaea fossil.


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