26 Apr 2008

I love blogs...(jurassic bivalve mollusc fossil edition)

Years ago an adult - a teacher no less - plucked one of these from a jurassic shale cliff, showed it to me and in adult, pedagogical tones that left no room for doubt informed me it was a brachiopod. He knew stuff. I believed him, and I have gone through 30 years telling other cruelly misguided youngsters the same.

Now Neil, in a comment on this post, enlists the eye of someone who really knows their beans on this. It's not a brachiopod, we probably have a bivalve mollusc.

Excellent (1): lesson learned - don't take other people's word for it, take the field guide, check for yourself.

Excellent (2): there are people like Neil, who (look at his blog, this chap knows his stuff) will take an interest, get an expert opinion and put me right in a manner that doesn't make me feel thick as the proverbial two short planks, for which many thanks. I'm writing a field guide for kids and doing guided beach walks this summer, and his comment has saved me from making an ass of myself in print and in public. Ta Neil, and if your friend has a moment, this popped out of the cliff today a lovely fat 3 dimensional bivalve, 50mm x 30....
And from behind...

1 comment:

Neil said...

Gorgeous fossil, and I'm glad my comment was so well received. I actually considered not leaving the comment since I didn't want to be obnoxious, but I knew that you had appreciated the input before.

The almost surefire way to tell the two apart is that the plane of symmetry for bivalves runs parallel to the valves while in brachiopods it is perpendicular. The only exceptions I know are weird asymmetrical bivalves like oysters and rudists.

Hope I can get to Runswick Bay sometimes seems like a great place for beachcombing!!