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.
This week’s Fossil Friday feature is the fossilized corallum, or coral skeleton, of a coral (Phylum Cnidaria, Class Anthozoa) called Flabellum. The fossil in the photograph is from Florida, but a specimen identified as Flabellum sp. (UF 222226) has been recovered in Panama from the Gatún Formation and is middle-late Miocene in age.
Flabellids (Family Flabellidae) are solitary corals, meaning that they consist of only one polyp with a mouth surrounded by tentacles (colonial corals are made up of several polyps). They are found from the Early Cretaceous up into the present-day. Today, they can be found worldwide.
This week’s Fossil Friday is the Springvale cup and saucer limpet, Crucibulum springvaleense. This specimen was collected from the Gatún Formation and the mollusc that inhabited it would have been found filter-feeding while attached to rocks in Late Miocene oceans. Although this mollusc looks similar to a limpet, it is not a true limpet and is not closely related.
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.
For this week’s Fossil Friday I am going to send you off to see what invertebrate paleontologists Jonathan Hendricks and Alex Kittle are finding in Panama! They are conducting fieldwork in Panama along with Cristina Robins, Adiël Klompmaker, Roger Portell, Nathan Jud, Chris Nelson and our museum interns! Follow the links below to check out Jonathan Hendricks’ and Alex Kittle’s Twitter accounts and see all of the fossils they have been finding in the Gatún Formation and other localities in Panama!
On this Fossil Friday, I am presenting a dove snail called Strombina lessepsiana, which is a member of the marine snail family Columbellidae. This specimen was collected in the lower Gatún Formation and is late Miocene in age. This little snail was found on both the Pacific and Caribbean sides of Panama and Colombia during the late Miocene. It was an omnivore and would eat macroalgae and live or dead animal material.
To learn more about this dove snail, read the Fossils of Panama entry on it here.
Hi my name is Aly Tucker and I am a new intern and I am studying invertebrates. I graduated in May 2015 from UF with a B.S. in Geology and am excited for this opportunity.
During the first week, I prepped a numerous amount of specimens from Panama. I was also able to make a couple of silicone molds of gastropods. Silicone molds are beneficial because they give you a nice image of the specimen and can help accentuate details of the specimen that may be hard to see otherwise. Continue reading →
The subject of this week’s Fossil Friday is the sundial snail Architectonica nobilis. This particular specimen is late Miocene in age and was found by former PCP PIRE Postdoc Austin Hendy in the lower Gatún Formation. This snail’s earliest occurence is in the early Miocene and can still be found in shallow marine waters today. These animals produce planktonic larvae that can travel great distances.
To find out more about this kind of snail, check out the Fossils of Panama page on it here.
This Fossil Friday I would like to focus on the genus Mellita, a group of flat sand dollars (Class Echinoidea, Order Clypeasteroida). Members of this genus are restricted to the shores of North and South America, however they are found on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the continents. Members of Mellita feed by plowing through the surface of sand and collecting food particles. The split that resulted in two extant species of the genus, M. quinquiesperforata and M. notabilis, can be attributed to the closing of the Isthmus of Panama.
To learn more about the current distribution and phylogeography of this genus, read this paper that includes specimens from Panama.
Reference: Coppard, S.E., Zigler, K. S., Lessios, H.A. Phylogeography of the sand dollar genus Mellita: Cryptic speciation along the coasts of the Americas. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. (2013). doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2013.05.028