These gnarled oyster shells get their nickname ‘Devil’s toenails’ because people used to believe they were the actual toenails of the devil himself! Their real name is Gryphaea arcuata and are about 200 million years old and is a form of extinct oysters, marine bivalve molluscs in the family Gryphaeidae.
These fossils range from the Triassic period to the middle Paleogene period, but are mostly restricted to the Triassic and Jurassic periods around 250 million years ago. These oysters lived on the seabed in shallow waters.
Particularly good examples can be found on the shoreline at Lochaline, in the Lochaber Geopark, where they are washed up by the sea,
Like all our fossils, no two are the same and each one come with a certificate of authenticity.