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.


3 thoughts on “Fossil seashells of The Netherlands

  1. Peru Concerned About Fossil Trafficking

    The Associated Press

    February 09, 2007

    We have the teeth of sharks, large fish _ all fossilized _ that (people) try to send by air

    Peruvian archaeologists displayed more than 400 seized shark teeth, shells and fish fossils as old as 12 million years on Friday, saying customs officials have already made twice the number of such seizures this year than they did in 2006.

    Peru’s National Culture Institute said fossil trafficking is a growing problem because the items are highly valued in foreign markets. So far this year, customs agents have made 947 fossil seizures, compared to 461 all of last year, Javier Vazquez, director of the institute’s recovery department, told The Associated Press.

    ‘Peru is a country rich in fossil beds and we are seeing an increase in the trafficking of this wealth,’ Vazquez said.

    He said some of the artifacts are shipped out of the country in simple packages: The shark teeth displayed Friday at the National Museum in Lima _ some of which are in perfect condition _ were seized as they were being sent in a nondescript box to the United States. Vazquez did not say exactly where they were being shipped.

    Southern Peru is particularly rich in fossils, said institute archaeologist Cecilia Pachas.

    ‘We have the teeth of sharks, large fish _ all fossilized _ that (people) try to send by air,’ Pachas said. ‘We have even confiscated these objects from passengers’ bags.’

    Customs agents say the items are considered ‘national patrimony’ and are not allowed to leave Peru, although there is no penalty attached to the crime.

    Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


  2. Pingback: Seashells and slavery in Dutch history | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Glass art and marine animals exhibition | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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