The slab still needs some cleaning, but it’s already clear that the surface is covered with specimens of Inoceramus, a large pteriomorph bivalve. Here’s a closeup of part of the surface:
Inoceramus is extremely common in many Cretaceous rocks from central North America, like those that cover northern Kansas. Even though some of these specimens exceed 10 cm in length, they’re actually quite small by the standards of the group. Related species are known to have reached lengths approaching 2 meters, and are the largest known bivalves.
We don’t have large amounts of Cretaceous sedimentary rocks in Virginia, so we don’t have many specimens like this at VMNH. Thanks, Ed, for this nice addition to our collections!