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Gastropod Mold
Gastropod Mold
Click to enlarge image(s)

Scientific name: Turritella alticostata
Meaning of name: “High-ridged”
Age: Miocene to Pliocene, 10 mya
Distribution: United States, East coastal states
Gastropods are a type of mollusk with over 45,000 different species either living or found in the fossil record. The word gastropod literally means stomach foot. They really don't “walk” on their stomachs, it just appears that way. Their stomachs and all vital organs are protected inside the shell. The distinctive corkscrew-shaped shell reminds one of a mythical unicorn horn or a castle turret. Gastropods feed on dead plants and animals who's remains settle on the muddy surface of the ocean floor. This particular gastropod is the index fossil for it's time. This means that it lived in great abundance but for a short geologic time with wide distribution and then went extinct. It helps scientists identify the age of the rock in which it was found.
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