Pinna (genus)

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Temporal range: Carboniferous–Recent
Pinna noblis shell & byssus.JPG
Pinna nobilis shell and byssus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia
Order: Pterioida
Family: Pinnidae
Genus: Pinna
Linnaeus, 1758

Pinna is a genus of pen shells. It is a cosmopolitan genus of bivalve molluscs characterized by elongated, wedge-shaped shells which most commonly stand point-first in the sea bottom in which they live, anchored by a net of byssus threads.

Pinna is distinguished from its sibling genus Atrina by the presence of a sulcus dividing the nacreous region of the valves, and the positioning of the adductor scar on the dorsal side of shells.

The type species of the genus is Pinna rudis.

The most completely studied species in the genus is P. nobilis, a Mediterranean pen shell which was historically important as the principal source of sea silk.

The genus Pinna is ancient, and is represented in Cretaceous fossils.



  • Packard, Earl; Jones, David L. (Sep 1965). "Cretaceous Pelecypods of the Genus Pinna from the West Coast of North America". Journal of Paleontology 39 (1): 910–915. 
  • "Glossary". Man and Mollusc. Retrieved 2008-01-30.