Extraordinary Tuam fossil to be unveiled next week

340 million year old fossil of a gigantic snail was found on a wall in Tuam

Phanerotinus cristatus.

Phanerotinus cristatus.

An extraordinary and very rare fossil type, dating from around 340 million years ago, and discovered in a wall in Tuam, will be put on public display on Monday September 30.

The fossil type, known as Phanerotinus cristatus, was a gigantic snail with spiny flanges around the outside. It lived on the sea floor at a time when Ireland was situated close to the equator and covered by a warm tropical sea. Worldwide, only 15 of these unusually large fossils have been discovered, and are only found in a band of limestone stretching between Ireland and Britain.

Phanerotinus cristatus will be unveiled at Tuam Library on September 30 at 2pm by Cllr Jimmy McClearn and Minister of State Seán Canny. The event is open to the public and there will be short talks by Koen Verbruggen, director of Geological Survey Ireland; Matthew Parkes, geological curator in the Natural History Museum; and Brendan Arrigan, the Galway based chartered surveyor and geological enthusiast who in 2017 discovered the fossil.

The fossil will then go on public display at the Galway County Council Office, High Street, Tuam, for a period of time.


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