Mussel and Snail

Painting of two Cretaceous mussels and a snail sitting in shallow water at the base of a tree trunk.

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Mussels and snails were common in this wetland environment and would have looked very similar to species alive today. The mussels probably lived in ponds and filtered their food from the water, as living species do today. The snails probably grazed on algae and plants growing in or near the water.

This internal mold of a mussel shell shows she shape of the space inside the shell.  It fromas an oval that is thick in the center and thinner ant the ends A groove shows where the shell's hinge was.

This fossil is an internal mold of a mussel. After the animal died, the shell filled with sediment which later hardened to rock. The shell then dissolved away, leaving the mold. Click to zoom.

Fossil formed from sediments that filled the inside of a snail shell and hardened to rock.  The fossil is narrow at the tip, wider at the base, and has a spiral indentation running from tip to base.

This fossil is the internal mold of a snail shell. It formed in the same way as the mussel fossil to the left. Click to zoom.