Fossil shells in shale

Virtual Museum ID: 19-AME1676

Specimen Summary

Early Cretaceous, species Monotis subcircularis

This sample is of fossil shells from the Peace River region of northern BC. They are fossils of shells of the bivalve species Monotis Subcircularis, which lived during the Triassic, between 247 and 205 million years ago. Bivalves first evolved in the Cambrian, over 500 million years ago, and many species still exist today, including clams, mussels and scallops.

Bivalves are a class of mollusc with two shells joined at a hinge. Their shells are usually made of calcium carbonate, which is hard and easily preserved, making bivalve fossils relatively common. Different bivalve species inhabit different environments and existed at different times in geological history. By identifying the species, geologists can estimate how old a rock is and what conditions it formed under, whether in a lake, or a beach, or further offshore in deeper water.

These fossils are impressions made of the shell in mudstone. When the creatures died, they settled to the seafloor onto the soft mud. Over time, the mud has been lithified, or turned to stone, preserving these impressions for over 200 million years.

Specimen Data


The information listed below relates to the current holding location or collection that the sample is from, and whether the item is viewable at that location or is part of a private collection. Coordinates are given as guides, and we remind you that collecting specimens from these locations is not allowed. Caution is advised visiting such sites and Below BC assumes no responsibility for any injuries or trespassing charges that may occur as a result of the viewer entering these sites.

Collection Details

Original Collection:

Association for Mineral Exploration (AME)

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Location Information

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Peace River, BC

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10 (NAD 83)

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Fossil shells in shale

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Advanced Geological Information


The following section provides geological data relating to the specimen or the site it was collected from, when available. Information has been obtained from various sources including private and government datasets but may not be up to date. Any geological time periods or ages listed often relate to the primary geology of the area, and may not be the actual date of an event such as mineral formation.

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