Gryphaea Arcuata ‘Devils Toenail’
These are Bivalve specimens known as Gryphaea Arcuata; colloquially known as the Devils Toenail.
It bears a passing resemblance to a large, twisted toenail. British folklore claims that it was believed these were created when the devil clipped his toenails.
In actuality, they were closer to oysters, a double hinged shell that has fossilised.
Typically they are found in quarries, gravel, and riverbeds around the UK and abroad, these are very common fossils. Because they are often mined from gravel quarries, they are often found damaged or broken in regular household gravel.
We sell a few grades of these fossils – higher quality pieces have less matrix and marks, etc.
The lower grade pieces really are all from riverbanks and household gravel!
A lot of children are really interested in fossils, and not everyone has the time or experience to identify common fossils. If your kids are interested in learning about fossils, and you have access to a gravel patch, you can just scatter a few of these around and help the kids find them.
For more information about Bivalves in general, see our main ‘Bivalve’ page.