Fossil sea snail shell, revisited


Fossil marine gastropod mollusk shell (Ecphora tricostata), approximately three inches (3″) in length, collected at an undisclosed location along the Potomac River, Westmoreland County, Virginia USA. The word “costa” means “rib,” derived from the Latin word “costae.” Notice that the shell of Ecphora tricostata has three costae (ribs). Photo 1 of 4 was annotated to highlight the three costae; Photo 2 of 4 is the original photograph. Photo 3 of 4 shows the relative size of the specimen (a quarter is ~1″ in diameter). Compare and contrast Ecphora tricostata with Ecphora quadricostata, the subject of one of my recent Posterous posts.

Habitat: A relatively “shallow” sea that existed along the east coast of the United States an estimated 10- to 15 million years ago, during the Miocene Epoch.

The following gallery displays a few alternate image crops, featuring reduced white space around the specimens while preserving the aspect ratio of the original photos — which versions do you prefer?


Editor’s Note: Are you a keen observer with eagle eyes? Did you notice I used “Virginia” quarters to show the relative size of a fossil from Virginia? That’s a subtle detail you may have overlooked.

Tech Tips: The preceding photos were post-processed using Apple “Aperture,” a professional-grade tool for organizing and adjusting photos. Apple “Preview” was used to annotate Photo 1 of 4.

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