Chicago Sun-Times
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Kankakee River: Shell ID back

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For those who asked, here is the back of the mystery shell.


Truly, I thank all for the help. If shy, e-mail me at

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Elliptio dilatata


Mr Bowman,

In regards to your mussel ID I have to say I’m not 100% sure. There are 80 different species of mussel in our area. To be sure I would use your pull as a writer of a major newspaper and call the Field Museum. Drop off your shell and it may take some time but I’m sure you will get a confirmed ID.

I am fairly certain this is a black sandshell (Ligumia recta). A shot of the inside would help. If it feels like you could break the shell with your hands it is probably elliptio dilatata, sandshells are pretty hefty in comparison. The moccasin shape looks like sandshell to me, though spikes are so variable.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on July 16, 2011 6:10 PM.

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