Bivalve shell

Additional images

Living fossils

Modiolus is strikingly similar to modern mussel shells. Indeed, many modern bivalve shells have ancestors that are millions of years old. Nautilus, the spiral-shelled creature similar to the ammonites, is always quoted as a ‘living fossil’ but in fact many forms of life that we are familiar with today are also living fossils. Many bivalves can trace their ancestry back at least 200 million years.

Find out more about bivalves on the molluscs pages.

Common name

Bivalve shell

Scientific name

Modiolus bipartitus

Type

Molluscs > Bivalves


Strata

Oxford Clay

Time period

Upper Jurassic

Age

160 million years

Where found

Bowlease Cove

Found by

Unknown

Museum

Dorset County Museum, Dorchester

Accession number

DCM.G.04169