Fossil Friday 3/25/16: A basket clam


UF 221418, the two valves of the basket clam Caryocorbula stena. Note that the valve with the bore hole is much smaller than the other valve. Photo © IVP FLMNH.

This week’s Fossil Friday feature is the basket clam Caryocorbula stena. This specimen was found in the Gatún Formation and is Late Miocene in age. This bivalve would have been found in shallow marine waters, burrowing just under the surface of the sediment. One interesting characteristic of this basket clam is that it is inequivalve, meaning that one valve is much larger than the other.

To learn more about this bivalve, check out the Fossils of Panama here.


Fossil Friday 11/6/15: A Venus clam


UF 222942, a valve of the Venus clam Chionopsis tegulum. Photo © IVP FLMNH.

For this week’s Fossil Friday we have a Venus clam (family Veneridae) from the Gatún Formation, Chionopsis tegulum. This Venus clam can be found throughout the Early to Late Miocene (20 million years ago to 9 million years ago). It is only found on the Caribbean side of Panama and not on the Pacific side.

To find out more about this specimen, read the Fossils of Panama page on it here.


Fossil Friday 3/6/15: A jewel box clam


UF 220128, the right valve of the clam Chama berjadinensis. The two shiny impressions on the left and right sides of the inside of the valve are the adductor muscle scars. These muscles are used to pull the valves together and close the shell. (Photo © IVP FLMNH)

For this Fossil Friday, we have the right valve of a jewel box clam called Chama berjadinensis. This specimen is from the Gatún Formation of Panama and is Late Miocene in age. Clams are bivalve molluscs (Class Bivalvia, Phylum Mollusca) and are so named for the two valves that make up their shell. The outside of the valves of Chama berjadinensis can have irregular or even frilly growth lines radiating out from the umbo (usually the highest point on the valve, near the hinge line) that run parallel to the shell margin.

To find out more about this specimen, read the Fossils of Panama page on Chama berjadinensis from the Gatún Formation here.