Definition of lamp shell in English:

lamp shell


  • A marine invertebrate that superficially resembles a bivalve mollusk but has two or more arms of ciliated tentacles (lophophores) that are extended for filter feeding. Lamp shells are common as fossils.

    Also called brachiopod
    • ‘Until now, the earliest animals known to be coloured were lamp shells that lived about 350 million years ago.’
    • ‘For example, horseshoe crabs (Limulus) and lampshells (Lingula) both occur in shallow marine environments, where many predators and competitors exist, particularly since the Cretaceous Period.’
    • ‘Brachiopods - lampshells - for instance, have remained virtually unchanged since they first appeared in the Cambrian Period, more than 500 million years ago.’


Mid 19th century: from its resemblance to an ancient oil lamp.