A fossil brachiopod (Rhynchonella) from Robroyston.
Brachiopods have existed for almost 600 million years and can still be found in the oceans today, although they are less abundant than they once were. Although most creatures with two opposed hinged shells (such as cockles and mussels) are known as bivalves, brachiopods are so different internally that they belong to a separate phylum (a grouping of species).
These Rhynchonella lived on the sea-bed in warm shallow waters during the Carboniferous Period (360-290 million years ago). At this time Scotland was part of a vast low-lying land mass which lay close to the Equator and was frequently flooded by the sea.
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums
brachiopods, Carboniferous Period, fossils, geology, Rhynchonella