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Sculptures by Phyllis Bone


Brachiopods are sessile, marine animals with a bivalve shell, usually found in cool, temperate or cold waters. Called lampshells because of their superficial resemblance to a roman oil lamp, they have a truly successful body plan. The 330 living species assigned to 2 classes - Inarticulata and Articulata - represent the 12000 fossil species which flourished in the Ordovician period – 400 million years ago.

Like most brachiopods, Terebratulus – a small British species – is firmly cemented to the substrate by its stalk, which emerges from a hole in the ventral valve. This hole distinguishes brachiopod shells from those of bivalve molluscs.