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


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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
The Ammonites: Their Life and Their World
By Ulrich Lehmann

Cambridge University Press
Hardcover (252 pages)

The Ammonites: Their Life and Their World
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The ammonites : their life and their world. Author: Ulrich Lehmann. Publisher: Cambridge [Eng.] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1981. Edition/Format: Book : English. ISBN: 0521236274 9780521236270. OCLC Number: 7197216. Language Note: Translation of: Ammoniten. Description: xi, 246 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. Other Titles: Ammoniten. Responsibility: Ulrich Lehmann ; translated by Janine Lettau.
Ammonites and Leaping Fish: A Life in Time
By Penelope. Lively

Penguin
Hardcover

Ammonites and Leaping Fish: A Life in Time
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Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods
By Danna Staaf

ForeEdge
Hardcover (256 pages)

Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods
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Before there were mammals on land, there were dinosaurs. And before there were fish in the sea, there were cephalopods―the ancestors of modern squid and Earth’s first truly substantial animals. Cephalopods became the first creatures to rise from the seafloor, essentially inventing the act of swimming. With dozens of tentacles and formidable shells, they presided over an undersea empire for millions of years. But when fish evolved jaws, the ocean’s former top predator became its most delicious snack. Cephalopods had to step up their game. Many species streamlined their shells and added defensive spines, but these enhancements only provided a brief advantage. Some cephalopods then abandoned the shell entirely, which opened the gates to a flood of evolutionary innovations: masterful camouflage, fin-supplemented jet propulsion, perhaps even dolphin-like intelligence. Squid Empire is an epic adventure spanning hundreds of millions of years, from the marine life of the primordial ocean to the calamari on tonight’s menu. Anyone who enjoys the undersea world―along with all those obsessed with things prehistoric―will be interested in the sometimes enormous, often bizarre creatures that ruled the seas long before the first dinosaurs.
London: A City in Pictures
By Ammonite Press

Ammonite Press
Paperback (512 pages)

London: A City in Pictures
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  • Ammonite Press
Product Description:
London: A City in Pictures forms a tour of the city’s historic streets of medieval and classical architecture, sumptuous palaces and distinctive bridges, and modern skyscrapers such as The Shard. It captures the rich characters of Soho and Chinatown, London’s quaint squares and verdant parks, the vibrant theatreland, world-class restaurants, the ubiquitous London pub, fine museums and art galleries, and the stadia that host sporting spectacles from rugby, cricket and cycling to athletics, soccer and lawn tennis. It celebrates the rich ethnic mix of diverse cultures that nevertheless exudes the unique character of London, revealed in more than 500 photographs hand-picked from the archives of the Press Association.
Ammonites and the Other Cephalopods of the Pierre Seaway: Identification Guide
By Neil L. Larson, R. A. Farrar, Neal L Larson & Robert A Farrar

Geoscience Pr
Paperback (148 pages)

Ammonites and the Other Cephalopods of the Pierre Seaway: Identification Guide
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This volume provides easily-understood descriptions of some 90 species, 32 genera, and 13 families of cephalopods that lived for 12 million years in the Pierre Seaway, which extended through the interior of North America connecting the Arctic Ocean with the Gulf of Mexico. B&w photographs. Geoscience Press, Inc. is at PO Box 42948, Tucson, AZ 85733-2948. Distributed to the trade by Mountain Press. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
The Beatles in Pictures
Ammonite Press
Released: 2019-06-01
Hardcover (288 pages)

The Beatles in Pictures
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The best-selling band in history, with sales of over a billion, The Beatles achieved more sales in the US than any other artist. Formed in Liverpool in 1960, The Beatles had their roots in skiffle and 1950s rock 'n' roll, but as their career progressed they dabbled in many musical forms. The Beatles' first single, "Love Me Do," was released in 1962, becoming a modest hit. The following year saw the advent of Beatlemania, and they became known as the "Fab Four"; by early 1964, they were international stars, leading the "British Invasion" in the US. This book takes a nostalgic and affectionate look at Britain's most famous pop group, from their early days in the 1960s to the break-up of the band, with the aid of almost 300 photographs from the extensive archives of Mirrorpix.


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