The specimen that describes a species
This fossil is a holotype – the specimen on which this species is described. If someone thought that the classification of Pinna sandsfootensis was incorrect, they would start by examining this specimen in Dorchester County Museum. When a new species is described, it is often given a name that reflects the locality from which it was found, which is the case here. But it could also be based on a distinguishing feature or a person, typically the collector who found it.
Pinna lived in soft sediments with only the tip of the broadest part of its shell protruded above a muddy seafloor, just like a razor shell does today.
Find out more about bivalves on the molluscs pages.