Facts about Ammonites, an extinct prehistoric animal

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Other Prehistoric Animals   >   Ammonites

Ammonites



Ammonite Fossil
Click here for more Ammonite Pictures

Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Mollusca
  Class Cephalopoda
  Subclass Ammonoidea
Ammonites are an extinct group of cephalopod molluscs that lived in marine environments. They first appeared in the Late Silurian or Early Devonian (about 400 million years ago), and went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period (about 65 million years ago), during the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction. Although they outwardly physically resemble the modern Nautilus, Ammonites are actually believed to be more closely related to cuttlefish, octopi, and squid.

Ammonite fossils are often (but not always) a distinctive flattened spiral coil with visible ribs, although there are species with unusual coil shapes, partially coiled shells, and even uncoiled shells. Most Ammonites are quite small, perhaps 9 inches (23 centimeters) or less in diameter - there are however some larger types, for example Parapuzosia seppenradensis which is found in Cretaceous rocks from Germany is sometimes upto 6½ feet (2 meters) in diameter,

Fossilized ammonites preserved in rock:
Fossilized ammonites preserved in rock

Ammonite fossils have been known since ancient times:
  • The Roman author, Pliny the Elder (23 CE to 79 CE) called the fossils, the "horns of Ammon", because he thought that they resembled the ram's horns which the Egyptian god Ammon was depicted with.

  • In medieval times, Ammonites were often thought to be petrified snakes, and were often called "snake stones" or "serpent stones". The supposed petrification was usually ascribed to the actions of saints such as Saint Patrick (who was said to have driven the snakes out of Ireland).

  • In India, Ammonites were sometimes regarded as symbols of the god Vishnu, and were kept in temples.
Today, modern scientists often use Ammonites and Amminoids as "index fossils" (fossils which are used to help date the rocks that they are found in), particularly for Mesozoic Era rocks. This is possible because these fossils are relatively abundant in rocks, are widely distributed, and because different species evolved and went extinct in rapid succession - thus the presence of a particular species is indicative of rocks being formed in a particular time period.

Ammonites Timeline:



Ammonites were cephalopod molluscs that lived in the seas between 400 and 65 million years ago

Ammonites were cephalopod molluscs that lived in the seas between 400 and 65 million years ago


Related Information & Resources


See Also

Ammonite Books


Here are some books from Amazon.com:

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Ammonite
By Nicola Griffith

Griffith, Nicola
Released: 2002-04-30
Paperback (416 pages)

Ammonite
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Product Description:
Winner of the Lambda and Tiptree Awards“A knockout . . . Strong, likable characters, a compelling story, and a very interesting take on gender.”—Ursula K. Le Guin

Change or die. These are the only options available on planet Jeep. Centuries earlier, a deadly virus shattered the original colony, killing the men and forever altering the few surviving women. Now, generations after the colony lost touch with the rest of humanity, a company arrives to exploit Jeep—and its forces find themselves fighting for their lives. Terrified of spreading the virus, the company abandons its employees, leaving them afraid and isolated from the natives. In the face of this crisis, anthropologist Marghe Taishan arrives to test a new vaccine. As she risks death to uncover the women’s biological secret, she finds that she too is changing—and realizes that not only has she found a home on Jeep, but that she alone carries the seeds of its destruction. . . .

Ammonite is an unforgettable novel that questions the very meanings of gender and humanity. As readers share in Marghe’s journey through an alien world, they too embark on a parallel journey of fascinating self-exploration.

“A powerful story of connection, allegiance, and obligation. Read Nicola Griffith’s book—and keep an eye out for her name in the future.”—Vonda N. McIntyre 

“A marvelous blend of high adventure and mind-boggling social speculation.”—Kim Stanley Robinson
Ammonites
By Neale Monks

Brand: Smithsonian Books
Released: 2002-05-17
Paperback (176 pages)

Ammonites
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Product Description:
The beautiful spiral shells of these long-extinct marine invertebrates are among the most sought after and recognizable of fossils, yet little has been published about ammonites outside of geological journals. Neale Monks and Philip Palmer look at the latest ideas on ammonite biology and ecology to present this detailed picture of a once diverse and widespread group of animals.

The authors describe the evolution of ammonites and their relatives and explain how they created their shells and used them as flotation devices. All the major groups of ammonites are described and illustrated (as are many minor ones), and important material is included on anatomy, feeding, reproduction, and pathology. The 300-million-year existence of ammonites ended at around the same time that dinosaurs became extinct. Fortunately, ammonites were once so abundant that their fossilized shells can be readily found, and the authors provide a helpful guide to locating and collecting these unique fossils.
Ammonite. by Nicola Griffith
By Nicola Griffith

Gollancz
Paperback (416 pages)

Ammonite. by Nicola Griffith
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1st Gollancz 2012 SF Masterworks trade edition paperback fine book In stock shipped from our UK warehouse
Ammonites and Leaping Fish: A Life in Time
By Penelope Lively

imusti
Paperback

Ammonites and Leaping Fish: A Life in Time
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Ammonites-and-Leaping-Fish
Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir
By Penelope Lively

Penguin Books
Released: 2015-06-23
Paperback (240 pages)

Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir
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Rare personal reflections from “one of our most talented writers” (The New York Times Book Review)

Look out for Penelope Lively’s new book, The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories.

Memory and history have been Penelope Lively’s terrain in fiction throughout a career that has spanned five decades. In this “funny, smart, and poignant” (Los Angeles Times) memoir, she offers a glimpse into her influences and formative years, as well as a view of what life looks like from the vantage point of eighty years. Lively traces the arc of her own life, from early childhood in Cairo to boarding school in England to the sweeping social changes of Britain’s twentieth century. She reflects on her early love of archaeology, and on the fragments of the ancients that have accompanied her journey. She also takes an intimate look back at a life devoted to books and writes insightfully about aging.
A Corpus of Ammonite Inscriptions
By Walter E. Aufrecht

Eisenbrauns
Released: 2018-11-02
Hardcover (648 pages)

A Corpus of Ammonite Inscriptions
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This second edition of A Corpus of Ammonite Inscriptions presents all of the published inscriptions that have been identified as Ammonite in one volume. Each entry is accompanied by a complete bibliography, a physical description and details about its location, a photograph and/or drawing, relevant linguistic information, and a history of the inscription’s interpretation.

The discovery of the Amman Theater Inscription, Amman Citadel Inscription, Tall Sīrān Bottle, Ḥisbān Ostraca, and Tall al-Mazar Ostraca opened a new chapter in the study of ancient Northwest Semitic inscriptions with the recognition and analysis of the language and script of ancient Ammon. These new discoveries prompted a reclassification of a number of epigraphs previously identified as Hebrew, Phoenician, or Aramaic.

Since the first edition of this corpus, the discussion of the criteria used to classify inscriptions as Ammonite, including provenance, language, onomastics, paleography, and iconography, has advanced considerably. In addition, the number of known inscriptions has increased. This updated edition includes 254 additional inscriptions, four new appendixes, and in many cases, new and improved images.

Blank Journal - Fibonacci Ammonite Shell
By Gem Books

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (150 pages)

Blank Journal - Fibonacci Ammonite Shell
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Blank Journal/Diary/Composition Notebook - Fibonacci Ammonite Shell, Fossil. Blank notebook is the perfect size to travel with you, will fit in many purses and backpacks. Uses are endless for this notebook, could be used for class notes, as a planner or for organizing ideas, keeping track of your list of things to do, and much more. Makes a great gift.6" x 9"college rule150 pageswhite paperglossy covermade in USA
Cats in Hats
By Ammonite Press

Ammonite Press
Released: 2019-05-01
Board book (16 pages)

Cats in Hats
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People love cats. People love taking pictures of cats. And people particularly love taking pictures of cats behaving like humans. Cats in Hats is a book that does exactly what it says on the cover. We provide the hats, you provide the cats. Featuring a sturdy framework of 16 board-book backgrounds, each with a delightfully illustrated item of headwear and a cut-out shape handily designed to fit a cat’s head, it offers a wealth of feline photo-opportunities. The instructions are simplicity itself. Choose your frame. Position your cat. Take your photograph or video. And then, if you choose, post your images on whichever website takes your fancy: but ideally the Cats in Hats one we have set up for your convenience.
Mates for Life: Devoted Couples from the Animal Kingdom
By Ammonite Press

Brand: Ammonite Press
Paperback (96 pages)

Mates for Life: Devoted Couples from the Animal Kingdom
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An ideal gift for that special person in your life, this is an affectionate and amusing look at our neighbors in the animal kingdom who opt for a monogamous relationship

The message clearly is: if they can do it, why can’t we? Stunning color photography captures cuddly cute or cooing couples in their natural habitats—designed to melt even the most hard hearted valentine, while informative text describes their mating rituals, the often elaborate display of feathers or fur, the special relationship the couples enjoy, their relationship with their offspring, plus fascinating facts about the species. Gibbons and guinea fowl, wolves and warblers, swans, skinks and seahorses, angel fish, beavers, voles and vultures are just a few of ensemble of creatures that prove that devotion to one partner is a way of life we should aspire to.



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