Paleonet: Polished clam identification?

Paula M Mikkelsen pmm37 at cornell.edu
Sun Nov 14 01:15:19 GMT 2010


Dear Paleonetters -
I am seeking help in identifying a polished Jurassic bivalve that seems to
be for sale everywhere, but is never fully identified. I purchased several
specimens at the GSA exhibition in Denver last week. They were simply
labelled "Paleozoic, Madagascar." On the web, I find them attributed to
Sakaraha, Majunga Basin, and Morondava Basin, all in Madagascar; and
Mesozoic rather than Paleozoic. I have seen only two with taxonomic names -
* Mercenaria *sp. (which seems unlikely) and "*Trigonia *Mussel Family"
(which also seems unlikely given the sculpture that remains). All of them
seem to be ca. 3 inches long, orange to white, double valved, with solid
infill. There is a distinct lunule and escutcheon - looks veneroid. Can
anyone identify this apparently common but mysterious clam, or point me in
the right direction in the literature?

See images of the clam at http://www.stonesbones.com/kui5.htm (scroll down
to polished fossilized clam) and
http://www.mrwoodsfossils.co.uk/product.php?prod=272.

Signed,
Baffled at PRI

********************************************
Paula M. Mikkelsen, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Science
and Director of Publications
Paleontological Research Institution
1259 Trumansburg Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Tel. (607) 273-6623, ext. 20
Fax (607) 273-6620
email  pmm37 at cornell.edu

"No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else's
draft."  -H. G. Wells

See "Seashells of Southern Florida: Living Marine Mollusks of the Florida
Keys and Adjacent Regions:
Bivalves<http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8484.html>"
and BivAToL - Assembling the Bivalve tree of Life <http://bivatol.org>.

On Exhibit at Museum of the Earth:
*Science on the Half Shell: How and Why We Study Evolution* September 24,
2010 - January 17, 2011 With support from the National Science Foundation
and Maxie's Supper Club.

Mon. - Sat. 10 am - 5pm and Sun. 11 am - 5 pm.
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday (Labor Day to Memorial Day).

PRI and its Museum of the Earth <http://www.museumoftheearth.org> are part
of Ithaca's Discovery Trail <http://www.discoverytrail.com>.
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