During our tour of the museusm and the mansion, we were told to look upstairs at the fossils of Chesapecten jeffersonius. The docent told us, if we visited the river beach, and if we looked, we could hunt for and possibly find specimens of this fossil, and could take ONE. Well, you know me, beaches and shells! That was almost a challenge.
Meet Virginia's state fossil, the scallop Chesapecten jeffersonius! It fittingly honors one of the state's most illustrious citizens -- Thomas Jefferson. This mollusc lived in the shallow waters of the continental shelf during the Late Miocene and Early Pliocene Epochs, some 4 - 5 million years ago. I am amazed at the size of the one I found, and that it is intact, both shells still connected. Many found halves, broken, or a few smaller ones, melded together. I was the only one to find one that looked as nice as the one in the mansion on display. To say the least, I was thrilled.