Museum Homepage

The San Mateo County Historical Association
Online Collections Database

The mission of the San Mateo County Historical Association is to inspire wonder and discovery
of the cultural and natural history of San Mateo County.

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 2014.009.046
Description Cardium nuttalli, Cockle fossil dating from between 1.5 million years ago to .75 million years ago commonly found at low tide in littoral (sandy and muddy bottom) or sub-littoral (open bay, muddy marine) zones. Fossil is comprised of two scalloped-shaped shells, one shell overlapping another, with ribs extending the entire length of the shells. Overall, light brown in hue, as if packed in dirt. Underside surface contains both shell fragments and small shell casts throughout.
Object Name Shell, Animal
Collection 3D - Paleontology
Title Cardium nuttalli, Cockle Fossil, 1.5 - .75 Ma
Date 1.5 - .75 Ma
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Mollusca (Molluscs)
Class Bivalvia (Bivalves)
Order Veneroida (bivalve order)
Family Cardiidae (Cockles)
Genus Cardium
Species nuttalli
Inscription Text none
Provenance Fossils taken from Merced Formation collected at Westborough Boulevard at Highway 280 in the late 1970s or early 1980s. (See Yancey 1978, Fig. 2: Artifacts taken from E Stratified Section/D-5929). Most specimens (especially clams) in this collection are not extinct and can still be found in the Bay Area.
Notes Retired Geologist Ken Lajoie identified on 4/8/2014.
Cardium nuttali (Common name: Cockle Shell) are large shells, measuring up to 14 centimeters in length. This species still thrives in the Bay Area.
Dimensions H-3.5 W-6.25 D-5.75 inches
Search Terms Fossils
Merced Formation
South San Francisco
Subjects Fossils
Marine biology