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What Are Ammonite Fossils?

What Are Ammonite Fossils?

What Are Ammonite Fossils?

Ammonites are an extinct group of marine invertebrates that lived during the Mesozoic era, approximately 240 to 65 million years ago. These creatures are characterized by their spiral shells, which are often preserved as fossils and are highly prized by collectors and paleontologists alike.

Ammonite Derives From The Name of The Ancient Egyptian God Ammon

The name ammonite comes from the ancient Egyptian god Ammon, who was often depicted with the horns of a ram, which resembled the coiled shape of the ammonite shell. These fascinating creatures had a worldwide distribution and were an important part of the marine ecosystem during their time on earth.

Ammonites were part of the cephalopod family, which includes modern-day squids, octopuses, and cuttlefish. They had a soft body, similar to modern-day cephalopods, which was protected by a hard shell that they could withdraw into for protection.

The shells of ammonites were intricately patterned, with ridges and grooves that formed complex designs. The shell itself was divided into chambers, which the animal could control the amount of air or water inside to control its buoyancy. The chambers were separated by walls called septa, which were pierced by a tube called a siphuncle that allowed the animal to regulate the air pressure in each chamber, and thus its position in the water column.

Ammonites had a complex array of tentacles that they used to catch prey, which included small fish, crustaceans, and other invertebrates. They were preyed upon by a range of animals, including large marine reptiles such as ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs.

The extinction of the ammonites is thought to have been caused by a combination of factors, including changes in sea level, climate, and ocean chemistry, as well as competition from other marine organisms. However, the exact cause of their demise remains a subject of debate among scientists.

Today, ammonites are highly prized by collectors and paleontologists alike, who study their fossils to learn more about the evolution of life on earth. They are often found in sedimentary rocks and can be found in a range of sizes, from tiny specimens that are only a few millimeters in diameter to large specimens that are several meters in length.

In our opinion ammonites are a fascinating group of extinct marine creatures, so much so that we can't help but have a few to hand. If you would like to buy an ammonite of your own please check out our selection here:  Buy Ammonites

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