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Article: The preservation of moulds of the intestine in fossil Nuculana (Lamellibranchia) from the Lias of England

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 2
Part: 2
Publication Date: March 1960
Page(s): 262 269
Author(s): L. R. Cox
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How to Cite

COX, L. R. 1960. The preservation of moulds of the intestine in fossil Nuculana (Lamellibranchia) from the Lias of England. Palaeontology2, 2, 262–269.

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The paper describes specimens of Nuculana from the Lower Lias in which clear moulds of the coiled intestine are preserved. The Nuculacea are deposit feeders in which the stomach and intestine become filled with compacted sediment from which nutriment is derived. In the present instance the shells remained closed and unfilled by sediment after death, while impregnation of the intestinal moulds with ferruginous matter and their hardening seems to have taken place very rapidly. The rather complicated coiling of the intestines resembles that now characteristic of Nucula rather than of Nuculana, and seems to be a primitive feature. Longitudinal grooves on the moulds, corresponding to ridges on the interior of the actual intestine, are clearly preserved, and resemble those seen on the faecal pellets of modern Nucula. The species to which the specimens belong is described as Nuculana (Dacryomya) gaveyi sp. nov.
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