The golden colour of this shell should not be taken as evidence that it is the Golden Carpet shell…….it is, in fact, the Pullet Carpet Shell, Venerupis senegalensis (Gmelin).
Both of the above specimens have a smooth shell except for the concentric growth lines. Both are stained to various degrees by burial for different periods of time in the sand: the orange one being fairly near to the surface where there was oxygen available and the blackened one lower down in anaerobic conditions. See the earlier Post Black Oysters at Rhossili Bay for a more detailed explanation of this staining process.
However, the paired valves of the shell specimen below are particularly fresh and have not been buried in the sediments. They have the typical appearance of the Chequered Carpet Shell, Tapes decussatus (Linnaeus), on the shell of which their are radial lines crossing the concentric lines.
This is a revision of a post first published 24 March 2009
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