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My kids founds this fossil in Capitola, as part of the Purisima formation.

Curious if it's something obvious enough for you pros out there? 

 

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I think it could be a partial internal mold of the moon snail, Polinices lewisi - the big gastropod of the Purisima.

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Thanks for the tip, MOTM! Now that you mention it, I can see how that may be possible. However, I'm still not confident that it's likely. What about the inner ear of a cetacean? That was another hypothesis I explore. 

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2 hours ago, ecastano said:

MOTM

 

That's the abbreviation for Member Of The Month. His real monicker is siteseer. ;)

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First, it would help to get the dimensions.  I think that would have to be from an unusually large Crepidula.  It is present in the same fauna as Polinices but usually around 2 inches.  Your specimen would be in the range of an average P. lewisi which can measure 3-4 inches.  

 

I don't think it's the right shape for a whale ear bone and would be large for a piece of one.  @Boesse

 

The next time you go to the Santa Cruz area, you should visit the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History.  It's a great place to stop.  You can buy a cheap but helpful guide to the invertebrate fossils of the Purisima in the gift shop.  You can get it in their online store as well.

 

https://www.santacruzmuseum.org/

 

Jess

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Thanks for chiming in, Jess! While the shape seems to fit Crepidula, I think you're right about the size. The specimen we found is about 2.5 x 3.25". That puts it in the range of Polinices lewisi.  I appreciate the insight, as well as the tip on the Santa Cruz Musuem of Natural History!

 

For now, I am satisfied knowing that it is very likely the inner mold of a gastropod. We might have to go back and better document the area were we found it. 

 

-Ed

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It's 100% an internal mold of Crepidula princeps; these are typically around 3" at Capitola but I've seen them exceed 4". This would be a big one.

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@Boesse you're right! Existing Crepidula are typically 25 mm, but Crepidula Princeps can go up to 100mm! Thanks all for helping me solve this mystery. My kids will be excited to here this. 

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4 minutes ago, ecastano said:

@Boesse but Crepidula Princeps can go up to 100mm! 

In France 5 cm Crepidula fornicata can be found.

 

Coco

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