I’ve mistaken a few clams for Brachiopods, but there is a difference. Brachiopods tend to be a mirror image from left to right whereas Clams are mirrored top to bottom if you look at the straight on. There is still a lot I have to learn about Brachiopods in general.

Brachiopods Through Time

Brachiopod diversity was more or less high throughout the Carboniferous. After the period changed over to the Permian, the diversity sharply declined and never recovered to levels sustained from 485 until 299 million years ago.

Today, there are about 100 living genera, however there have been about 5,000 discovered in the fossil record.

Carboniferous rainforest collapse

Around 305 million years ago, this collapse marked the start of the end of the Carboniferous. On land, vast rainforests changed over to islands of vegetation, each housing unique species depending on size and location. These events effected the worlds oceans as well, starting a decline in diversity.

More about Brachiopods


  • Sarda Sahney, Michael J. Benton, Howard J. Falcon-Lang; Rainforest collapse triggered Carboniferous tetrapod diversification in Euramerica. Geology ; 38 (12): 1079–1082. doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/G31182.1