Fossil seashells of The Netherlands

This video from the USA is called Introduction to Fossil Sea Shell BRACHIOPODS pt 1 of 4.

Today, the natural history museum, jointly with the Dutch Malacalogical Society, had a theme day on seashells and snails.

The lectures were in the auditorium, with many horns and antlers of deer, antelope, and cattle species hanging on the walls.

The second lecture of today was on fossil seashells of the Dutch beaches and estuaries.

It was by Frank Wesselingh, at the moment working at a dissertation on fossil seashells of the Amazon region.

But he works on their Dutch equivalents as well.

He said there were about 700 fossil mollusc species found so far in The Netherlands: over 300 gastropods, 335 bivalves, 8 chitons, 7 scaphopods.

For comparison: at present there are nearly 300 mollusc species in The Netherlands, about half of them marine.

Some fossil species are tens of millions years old; some just a few thousand.

At many places along the Dutch coast, these fossils can be found.

Traditionally, Zealand in the south west is the best known.

But now, other places are being discovered.

Though beaches between Wassenaar and Zandvoort do not have many fossil shells.

In Zealand, a well known fossil is Megacardita planicosta from the Eocene period.

Also, from the Pliocene, Spisula inaequilatera; and Chlamys princeps.

The Kaloot beach in Zealand is famous for its fossils.

Unfortunately, now it is threatened by economic interests.

Among its shells are Aequipecten angeloni from the Miocene.

More to the north, and later, from a hotter age between ice ages, is Solen marginatus.

During ice ages, more northern species, like Astarte borealis prevailed.

Research of Dutch fossil shells led to discovering species new to science; like Yoldia heeringi and Pleuromeris moerdijki.

Scaphopods: Eocene-Oligocene Paleontology of Lincoln Creek, USA: here.

Drakozoon lived in the ocean during the Silurian Period, 444 to 416 million years ago, and today’s model hints at how it lived: here.


Theme day on seashells and snails: molluscs on the Internet

Bleeding tooth nerite snail shellsToday, the natural history museum, jointly with the Dutch Malacalogical Society, had a theme day on seashells and snails.

The first lecture of the day was on molluscs on the Internet.

Dr. Ruud Bank, chair of the Dutch Malacalogical Society, introduced several sites.

They included Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland.

And slugs of the Mediterranean.

And the Western Atlantic Gastropod Database.

And Check List of European Marine Mollusca.

And Freshwater Molluscan Shells.

And worldwide conchology.

And Olivier Caro’s site.

And the Conus biodiversity site.

And the cephalopod page.

And Sea Shells, Sea Slugs, and Cephalopods.

And on the history of malacology.

And Check List of European Continental Mollusca.

Marine mollusks in Panama: here.

Wildlife in a Dutch city

According to an exhibition at present in the natural history museum, in the city of Leiden there are:

  • 60 species of breeding birds
  • 25 species of mammals
  • 4 species of amphibians
  • 21 fish species, including pumpkinseed introduced from North America [see also here]
  • 23 dragonfly and damselfly species
  • 24 (daytime) butterfly species
  • 450 plant species
  • 150 tree species
  • 220 fungi species

This is video about pumpkinseed in an aquarium.

Wildlife in London, England: here.

Breeding ecology of bluegill Lepomis macrochirus, an invasive alien species, in the north basin of Lake Biwa, central Japan: here.

The Netherlands: first boarfish ever


A boarfish, the first specimen ever, was found in The Netherlands, on 20 November on Texel island.

Usually, these fish live in deep water, warmer than in The Netherlands, south and west of the British isles.

Though it may be good to see a new species, this may also be a sign of global warming.

As a deep sea fish, it probably could not survive the tidal currents, unusual for it, and died on Texel beach.

Soon, it will go to the natural history museum in Leiden.

Not just a boarfish, also oarfishes on Dutch beaches: here. And here.

King of herrings on Texel: here.

Oarfish, manefish filmed: here.