Giant Fossilized Oyster Found

A giant fossilized oyster donated to the Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth is to have an MRI scan, to see if it contains an enormous pearl.

At 17.5cm/7" wide and 7.5cm/3" thick, the shell is ten times larger than a normal oyster. If it does indeed contain a pearl, it could be as large as a golfball — the average size of a pearl is 7mm!

The fossilized oyster was caught up in the nets of a trawler boat in the Solent.

Blue Reef's Lindsay Holloway said: "Initially they thought it was a real oyster but realised it was actually a fossilised one when they got a closer look at it.

"Oysters can be aged by annual growth rings on their shells and we have counted more than 200 rings on this oyster making it an extremely long-lived individual." Modern oysters typically live an average of six years.

The aquarium is hoping to arrange for the fossilised mollusc to undergo an MRI scan to check whether it contains a pearl.

Source for Giant Fossilized Oyster

See photos of world's largest fossil pearl.

See photos of petrified oyster shells I found on the Thames shore in London. The archaeologist on hand the day I found these explained that if they are flat, then they were wild oysters. If they were wrinkled up then it shows they were commercially raised in nets.

Read about my exciting day of picking up artifacts on the Thames river shore here.

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