Ammonite Fossil Specimen Butterfly Cut Display
A piece from the past - Ammonites were predatory, squid like-creatures that lived inside coil-shaped shells. Like other cephalopods, ammonites had sharp, beaklike jaws inside a ring of tentacles that extended from their shells to snare prey such as small fish and crustaceans. These creatures went extinct from the oceans some 65 million years ago. However, they had been around for a very long time prior to their departure, appearing first on the scene about 240 million years ago; they descended from straight-shelled cephalopods, called bacrites, that dates back to the Devonian period, about 415 million years ago. That is one long family history on this planet!
- Length: 8.25 Inches
- Width: 7 Inches
- Width: 1 inch
- Total weight: 4.49 pounds (2.27 pounds and 2.42 pounds)
- Ammonites are an extinct group of marine mollusc animals. These molluscs are more closely related to living octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish than they are to shelled living Nautilus species.
- Ammonites are excellent index fossils, and it is often possible to link the rock layer in which a particular species or genus is found to specific geologic time periods.
- The name "ammonite", from which the scientific term is derived, was inspired by the spiral shape of their fossilized shells, which somewhat resemble tightly coiled rams' horns. Pliny the Elder (d. 79 AD near Pompeii) called fossils of these animals ammonis cornua ("horns of Ammon") because the Egyptian god Ammon (Amun) was typically depicted wearing ram's horns.
- Ammonites were predatory, squid like-creatures that lived inside coil-shaped shells. Like other cephalopods, ammonites had sharp, beaklike jaws inside a ring of tentacles that extended from their shells to snare prey such as small fish and crustaceans.
- Some ammonites grew more than three feet (one meter) across—possible snack food for the giant mosasaur Tylosaurus.
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