GEOLOGY | FOSSILS | key fossil groups
Bivalves have inhabited the Earth for over 500 million years. They first appeared in the middle Cambrian and are extant today. They belong to the phylum Mollusca which includes squid, snail, octopuses and cuttlefish. The class Bivalvia may be found in fresh or salt water.
We are familiar with modern day bivalves cockles, clams, oysters, razor shells and muscles. A trip to a sandy beach is likely to reveal that bivalves have contributed the majority of the shelly components of the substrate.
Image: Bivalve fossil in Blue Lias Limestone (Charmouth, Dorset, UK)
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