Cucullae melania, sp. novum. A new Clam fossil from Carboniferous Strata.


  • Hassan Amjad JM Clinics, Beckley, WV
  • Anye Amjad JM Clinics, Beckley, WV
  • E. Ray Garton WV Geological & Economic Survey, Curator


fossil, bivalve, paleontology


  Clams are a diverse class of bivalves (Pelecypoda). They are filter-feeding animals with two identical shell halves. Known since Ordovician through recent rocks. They are commonly well preserved in species that lived in brackish or fresh waters.

   Diagnosis: First description from West Virginia, it differs in configuration from other known typed species.

   Etymology: Melania (G.) dark, black, Naiad or Nymph of springs. Material ,Holotype JRF 14-16

   Location: Pennsylvanian Coal beds, Logan County, West Virginia.

   Description: Specimen consists of inner cast mold (called Steinkern)  the outer mold of Calcium carbonate leached out completely. It is  Cordate (heart shaped ) in outline . Anterior and posterior margins, gently curved. Steep incline on the  ventral aspect , color slate gray  to  dark green with heavy deposits of  small carbon granules, strong radial striations, length of specimen 65mm, width 52mm.  Deep cleft, median raphe prominent, beak distinct and  inward curved at the  tips. These  casts are also  known as turtleheads or deer heart. 

   Conclusions: Findings of a new clam fossil species in Pennsylvanian rocks, its primary importance is for stratigraphy, paleoecology, phylogeny and systemic classification, this contributes to further the knowledge of such marine fauna.




How to Cite

Amjad, H., Amjad, A., & Garton, E. R. (2017). Cucullae melania, sp. novum. A new Clam fossil from Carboniferous Strata. Proceedings of the West Virginia Academy of Science, 89(1). Retrieved from



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