Ecphora gardnerae

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Ecphora gardnerae
Temporal range: Miocene
Ecphora gardnerae.jpg
An apertural view of a shell of Ecphora gardnerae gardnerae, drawn by J. C. McConnell[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Caenogastropoda
clade Hypsogastropoda
clade Neogastropoda
Superfamily: Muricoidea
Family: Muricidae
Genus: Ecphora
Species: E. gardnerae
Binomial name
Ecphora gardnerae
Wilson, 1987

Ecphora gardnerae is a species of extinct predatory ocenebrinid murex gastropod. Shells of E. gardnerae are found in Miocene-aged marine strata of Maryland and Virginia.

Subspecies[edit]

Subspecies include:

  • Ecphora gardnerae gardnerae, the nominate subspecies

Geological history[edit]

This species of large carnivorous sea snail lived during the Miocene epoch, and became extinct more than five million years ago.

This species was previously known as Ecphora quadricostata, but that name is now restricted to a species which is found from Pliocene strata in Virginia to Florida. The Miocene-aged specimens found in Maryland have been assigned to a different taxon, Ecphora gardnerae.[2]

Life habits[edit]

As with most other muricids, Ecphora sea snails bored holes through the hard shells of other mollusks, usually bivalves, or sometimes other snails, including other, smaller Ecphoras, in order to feed on their soft insides using a toothed, ribbonlike appendage (common to almost all gastropods) known as a radula.[3]

Commemoration of the fossil[edit]

In March 1994, Dr. Eric Seifter testified before the Maryland Legislature that the classification of the Maryland State Fossil, Ecphora quadricostata was invalid (quadricostata is not actually found in Maryland) and needed to be changed to Ecphora gardnerae gardnerae.[3] The fossil was named for geologist Julia Anna Gardner.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Clark, Shattuck & Dall, The Miocene Deposits of Maryland, Maryland Geological Survey (1904), Pl. LII no. 1 as "Ecphora quadricostata".
  2. ^ Ward & Gilinsky, 'Ecphora (Gastropoda: Muricidae) from the Chesapeake Group of Maryland and Virginia', Notulae Naturae, No. 469 (1988), p. 1, available on line here
  3. ^ a b "www.statefossils.com". Maryland State Fossil. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "Maryland's Official State Fossil Shell". Maryland Geological Survey. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  • D. Wilson. 1987. Species of Ecphora, including the subgenus Stenomphalus, in the Pungo River Formation. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 61:21-30

External links[edit]