Mystery Fossil

Update; March 20, 2006: I have found a second fossil in the same rock, I thought it might be easier to identify as it's more complete. I've attached a picture of it. The color in this image is not as good as the previous image, but its fairly complete.

Data: My son recently found a fossil shell in a piece of rock that he was using to practice flint-napping and we where curious what kind of animal it was so we could make a guess at the age of the rock.

The exposed bit of the shell is about 1cm across. We found the rock in eastern Nebraska, but we have no idea where it came from.

I haven't yet tried to expose any more of the shell, but if that would aid in identification I'll give it a try. I've attached an image of the fossil. Thanks for any help you can provide!

Dave Knaack

Send Ideas to: Dave Knaack




  • I've gotten a couple of responses back about this fossil since you posted it: Allen A. says it "Looks like a Paleozoic brachiopod", and John T, seems to agree, calling it a "productid brachiopod" and noting that Nebraska has lots of paleozoic rock often used as road fill, which mibht explain how it found it's way into my back yard.

  • This shell is referred to as the "shell of venus". It is found in fossil form in Africa , Europe, Asia and North America. It's history began about 35 million years ago and still lives or "occurs" in the ocean today....Kim

  • bivalve fossil ... Andrew G.


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