Brachiopods – (brak-e-o-pod ; brak-e-o-pods)

 

Most types of brachiopods are extinct, but there are brachiopods still alive today.

 

Brachiopods look very similar to bivalves (clams), but brachiopods tend to have a symmetrical shell, (the right and left side look the same) while bivalve shells are often lopsided.

While both brachiopods and bivalves have top and bottom shells, bivalve shells are more likely to be the same, while brachiopods often have different top and bottom shells.

The name is derived from bracchium + poda (Latin) meaning 'arm foot'. A brachiopod attaches itself to a rock using a foot or pedicle. It has arms (tiny tentacles) to catch its food.

 

For more information try these links:

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/brachiopoda/brachiopoda.html

http://www.fossils-facts-and-finds.com/brachiopods.html

http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Extension/fossils/brachiopod.html