Astartella concentrica

326.4 – 247.2 MYA

Scientific Classification

Kingdom:

Animalia

Phylum:

Mollusca

Class:

Bivalvia

Order:

Veneroida

Family:

Astartidae

Genus:

Astartella

Species:

concetrica

Conrad 1842

Catalog Number: CG-0104

The Carboniferous clam species, Astartella concentrica Conrad 1842 has been found in rocks dated from 318.1 million to 298.9 million years ago [1]. This is a range of 20 million years. The genus, Astarella, is found in a much larger range, 326.4 to 247.2, or 79.2 million years of time.

Two sides of a coin, two taxonomic opinions

In sharing photos of this specimen, I received two different options on genus. The fainter specimen was thought to be Edmondia, while the white specimen was Astartella concentrica. This was quite easy to do, as the two look like they would be quite different. Plus, I sent quick cell phone photos, not the higher quality ones below.

Two sides of the same specimen, Astartella concentrica

Conrad’s original specimen

In searching for the illustration of the specimen recorded by Conrad in 1842, the text on page 248 of cites an illustrated figure at PL 15, fig 19. However, plate 15 only has 18 specimens figured. I thought perhaps I was looking at the wrong plate, but an adjacent write-up, N. appressa, is listed as PL 15, fig 4, and is indeed listed at that position. It seems either the illustration was omitted, or the number was printed wrong. The hand written note does seem to indicate a misprint, so the error appears to be forgetting to illustrate figure 19.

The locality is of interest as well.

Locality. Inclined plane of the Allegheny mountain; No. 3, in bituminous shale overlying coal. (Carboniferous system.)

Page 248, T. A. Conrad, Observations on the Silurian and Devonian systems of the United States, with descriptions of new organic remains.

Joseph Leidy would later write about another specimen that T.A. Conrad borrowed from Charles A. Poulson. It was also found at Inclined Plane No. 3 in 1856, where the specimen Petalodus allegheniensis was discovered. So at least a few early local species that are readily found in the local strata were first recorded from Inclined Plane No. 3, which is approximately fifty miles East of local rocks.

References

  1. http://fossilworks.org/bridge.pl?a=taxonInfo&taxon_no=95092
  2. T. A. Conrad. 1842, Observations on the Silurian and Devonian systems of the United States, with descriptions of new organic remains. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 8(2):228-280, https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044107317794&view=1up&seq=83&q1=concentrica

Another Astartella concentrica Specimen