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I_gotta_rock

Miocene Mystery Shell

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I_gotta_rock

Okay, here's a weird one for any shell people out there. Found this on the Potomac's beach where the cliffs have Eastover, St Mary's and Choptank FM exposures. At first, it was a blob of clay with what looked like a hinge showing at one end. I chalked it up to oyster or mussel. Brough it home, cleaned it up most of the way and said, "What the heck?" The texture is really strange. It's convex where I would expect it to be concave. It's lumpy, but not heavily sculptured. I took it to some people who were more familiar with the spot and/or knew something about vertebrates, in case my mollusk assessment was totally off. No, looks like invertebrate of some kind, they said. I've identified and catalogued over 70- species from the cliffs, pouring over the same references for countless hours. There are a few approximately the right shape, given how broken it is, and have similar parallel growth lines, but the texture and lumps???? And that weird ridge 1/2 of the length from the beak? Multiple shells overlapping? Again I say, "What the heck?"oyster1.jpg.3deff1a4b0fdc16a1e98858ddd0eea45.jpg5ca902a0bb5c3_oysterside2showingridge.jpg.074f75e43c1da809113ad2de8dc216f4.jpg5ca902a05a090_oysterhingewithringsvisible.jpg.44fa466c7f0af1de8cb2d1e3a5dbee2c.jpg5ca9029f9658e_hingetexture.jpg.dbda3d8206cb0b0920b134dbacdf7a3a.jpg5ca9029ff1f19_openingbwvalves.jpg.58248f1faffa23cb6c2d898458e7d845.jpg

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Al Dente

Maybe Atrina or some other Pinnidae genus. I think the ridge was formed by compaction that deformed the shell.

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I_gotta_rock
8 minutes ago, Al Dente said:

Maybe Atrina or some other Pinnidae genus. I think the ridge was formed by compaction that deformed the shell.

Yeah, that was one of my possibilities. Even if it turns out to be a deformed, mangled specimen of something, I think I'm going to keep it for the geological story it holds.

 

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