Brachiopods, Lower Carboniferous

A fossilized marine invertebrate of the phylum Brachiopoda. Brachiopods have a very long history of life on Earth; at least 550 million years. They first appear as fossils in rocks of earliest Cambrian age and their descendants survive, albeit relatively rarely, in today's oceans and seas.

The word "brachiopod" is formed from the Ancient Greek words βραχίων ("arm") and πούς ("foot").[3] They are often known as "lamp shells", since the curved shells of the class Terebratulida look rather like pottery oil-lamps.