Brachiopods have existed from the Cambrian to recent times (550 million years ago to the present).  Greater than 3,000 genera have been identified and described to date.  About 70 genera still exist today.  The shell of the brachiopod is made up of two valves, or sides.  The pedicle valve is the bottom, or ventral side, and has a hole or slit through which the stalk or pedicle of the brachiopod extends and attaches itself to the sea floor.  The smaller brachial valve is the dorsal side , or top of the brachiopod.

Brachiopods are made up of two main groups:  the hinged group - Articulata and the unhinged group - Inarticulata.  They are further divided into 12 orders:  Inarticulata - Lingulida; Articulata - Orthida, Strophomenida, Pentamerida, Rhynchonellida, Spiriferida, Terebratulida, Acrotrotida, Productida, Punctospiriferida, Dalmentida, Triplesiatida.

This section has been set up to showcase individual fossil brachiopods.  They will be sorted first by location and then within each location by species.













Chinese Brachiopods