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1191 Views 4 Replies Last post: Mar 20, 2014 10:59 AM by Ramon RSS
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Mar 19, 2014 4:01 PM

Can these be fossil oysters?

Oyster 1.JPGOyster2.JPGGryph 1.JPG

I found these two shells (1&2) in mid-Beds UK.  One was in soil excavated by a mole and another on the surface of ploughed soil (about a mile away).  Near to the in-field specimen there were the bottom set of shells which I took to be Gryphaeidae.  1 & 2 look like oysters to me, but they also look quite fresh (as if found on a sea shore).  Could they be fossil Ostreidae?  Any indication of genus would be greatly appreciated.

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    Mar 19, 2014 9:42 PM (in response to Ramon)
    Re: Can these be fossil oysters?



    Top two:

    I could not go much further than Ostreidae myself.


    Bottom two:

    Gryphaea, or similar.


    A reliable ID often needs:

    - multiple specimens to look at (since an individual may not show key features)

    - scientific papers on local geology (to cut down a long list of candidate species, through determining the age-range of the rocks and/or work done on specific fossils)

    - a local expert


    The Bedford Museum (now The Higgins Art Gallery & Museum) has a geological collection. That and the curator might help -

    The curator might, depending on his particular background, be able to tell you if the top two are modern or fossil. Bear in mind there is a legitimate intermediate state 'subfossil' as well - where animal remains are only partly indurated/mineralized/lithified.


    We may get other comments here, though, so give folks a while to notice your post.



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    Mar 19, 2014 9:49 PM (in response to Ramon)
    Re: Can these be fossil oysters?

    Hi Ramon

    Your bottom specimen looks like a Gryphaea arcuata? but I do-not know the geology of your area.

    You say your top two images are of quite fresh shells, just wondering are there any Roman settlements in the same area ? because they liked oysters!

    Clutching at straws but could be.

    Good finds.



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