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diversity existed among brachiopods in the past; modern brachiopods, however,
exhibit little variety. They are commonly tongue-shaped and oval lengthwise
and in cross section. The surface may be smooth, spiny, covered with platelike
structures, or ridged. Most modern brachiopods are yellowish or white, but some
have red stripes or spots; others are pink, brown, or dark gray. The tongue-shaped
shells (Lingula) are brown with dark-green
splotches; rarely, they are cream yellow and green.