Bivalve oyster shell

Spring-loaded!

This is an unusually well-preserved example of the very common bivalve, Lopha, a type of oyster. Both shells are articulated together as they would have been in life. To feed, the animal would relax the big muscle holding these shells together allowing them to spring open on a hinge. This created a small gap through which water could be drawn in, filtered for food and then expelled. Look closely and you can see a second specimen on the right-hand side; very often these shells grew in huge piles, one on top of the other.

Find out more about bivalves on the molluscs pages.

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Common name

Bivalve oyster shell

Scientific name

Lopha

Type

Molluscs > Bivalves


Strata

Unknown

Time period

Lower Jurassic

Age

Unknown

Where found

Possibly Bridport Sands

Found by

Unknown

Museum

Bridport Museum

Accession number

BRPMG 1123