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Seashells have two shells or valves which join together to protect the squishy body of the animal inside. Seashells in the Jurassic oceans came in all sorts of different shapes and sizes and lived in lots of different places. Some buried themselves in the mud on the seafloor, some were free swimming, and some even attached themselves to floating wood!
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This is a complete specimen of Gryphaea arcuata, with both valves still attached. These fossil seashells can be found by looking carefully through the gravel and pebbles. Gryphaea 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.