Oxfordshire Fossils

"Fossils are the remains of life, naturally preserved in the materials that make up the Earth."

The word fossil means, 'that which is dug up.'  Science has further refined the word and for something to be classed as a fossil, it must either be the remains of a an ancient organism, or the trace of the activity of such an organism.

 

Note: the word fossil as an adjective can refer to inorganic things such as a 'fossil sand dune', 'fossil landscape' or a 'fossil volcano'. This usage refers to the existence of these inorganic things before they were preserved.

Jurassic Fossils of Oxfordshire

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Bivalvia

Cambrian to recent

 

Bivalves include clams, oysters, cockles, mussels, scallops, and numerous other families that live in saltwater, and well as a number of families that live in freshwater. The majority are filter feeders. The gills have evolved into ctenidia, specialised organs for feeding and breathing. Most bivalves bury themselves in sediment, where they are relatively safe from predation. Others lie on the sea floor or attach themselves to rocks or other hard surfaces. A few bore into wood, clay or stone and live inside these substances. Some bivalves, such as the scallops, can swim.

Pleuromya uniformis

facultatively mobile infaunal suspension feeder

extinct

 

image credit: OUMNH

illustration: W. J. Arkell

image field horizontal 3 cm

Meleagrinella echinata

stationary epifaunal suspension feeder

extinct

 

image credit: OUMNH

illustration: W. J. Arkell

image field horizontal 1.5 cm

Lithophagia inclusa

sessile suspension feeder

extinct

 

image credit: OUMNH

illustration: W. J. Arkell

image field horizontal 2.5 cm