Bivalve oyster shell

Hangers on

This is a very large example of a Gryphaea oyster shell. Worm tubes and smaller oyster shells, Nebeculinella, are attached to the shell, suggesting it was used as a hard surface by other animals on the soft clay sea floor. 

As the name suggests, bivalves consist of two shells. ‘Bi’ means two and ‘valve’ means shell. The shells are held together by a strong muscle, and hinged at the pointed end. 

Find out more about bivalves on the molluscs pages.

Common name

Bivalve oyster shell

Scientific name

Gryphaea (bilobissa) dilatata

Type

Molluscs > Bivalves


Strata

Oxford Clay

Time period

Upper Jurassic

Age

160 million years

Where found

Furzy Cliff

Found by

Unknown

Museum

Dorset County Museum, Dorchester

Accession number

DCM.G.02802