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Spirifer striata: a brachiopod

Silurian seascape

The ancient sea floor


This brachiopod belonged to Thomas Davidson, a nineteenth century collector and scientist. Part of the brachiopod shell has been etched by acid and manually prepared. At the time this was a new and innovative technique, developed by a clergyman from Manchester, Reverend Norman Glass. Thomas Davidson's collection contains a number of letters, and spiriferide specimens prepared by Rev Glass. The Spiriferida were a large and diverse group of brachiopods that flourished in the Palaeozoic seas.

Thomas Davidson photo

Photograph of Thomas Davidson taken from an album containing the portraits and autographs of the contributors to the "Challenger" reports presented to Sir John Murray on 30 November 1896.

silicified spiral supports

A well-preserved fossil brachiopod showing the spiral feeding system supports.

More brachiopods in our picture library.
More brachiopods in our Earth Lab online gallery.