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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Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir
By Penelope Lively

Penguin Books
Released: 2014-02-06
Kindle Edition (242 pages)

Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir
 
Product Description:
The beloved and bestselling author takes an intimate look back at a life of reading and writing

“The memory that we live with . . . is the moth-eaten version of our own past that each of us carries around, depends on. It is our ID; this is how we know who we are and where we have been.”

Memory and history have been Penelope Lively’s terrain in fiction over a career that has spanned five decades. But she has only rarely given readers a glimpse into her influences and formative years.

Dancing Fish and Ammonites traces the arc of Lively’s life, stretching from her 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 archeology, the fragments of the ancients that have accompanied her journey—including a sherd of Egyptian ceramic depicting dancing fish and ammonites found years ago on a Dorset beach. She also writes insightfully about aging and what life looks like from where she now stands.
Notebook: Blue Ammonite , Journal for Writing, College Ruled Size 6" x 9", 110 Pages
By Bluev Notebook

Independently published
Paperback (110 pages)

Notebook: Blue Ammonite , Journal for Writing, College Ruled Size 6" x 9", 110 Pages
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Product Description:
College Ruled Color Paperback. Size: 6 inches x 9 inches. 55 sheets (110 pages for writing). Blue Ammonite. 157944169738
Ammonites and Leaping Fish: A Life in Time
By Penelope Lively

Penguin
Paperback

Ammonites and Leaping Fish: A Life in Time
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Product Description:
Ammonites-and-Leaping-Fish
Ammonite Stars (Omnibus): Ammonite Galaxy #4-5
By Gillian Andrews

Released: 2014-07-28
Kindle Edition (573 pages)

Ammonite Stars (Omnibus): Ammonite Galaxy #4-5
 
Product Description:
This is the second omnibus in the award-winning Ammonite Galaxy series and is exclusive to the Kindle bookstore. It follows on from Ammonite Planets, the omnibus edition of the first three books. Ammonite Stars consists of the books Pictoria and The Lost Animas - over 750 pages in all.

"Another fantastic book! I've really loved this series... each book fleshing out the story more and more." Daniel, Podiobooks reviewer.

The visitor is missing, pulled across the galaxy by the force of the Dessite minds. To rescue him will mean risking their own lives on the Dessite homeworld ...
... But have the Dessites already learned enough to conquer Pictoria and the binary system?

"I love the many worlds Ms Andrews has created in this series! So memorable! Some day I'd like to share The Ammonite Galaxy series with my children." Binkyta, Podiobooks reviewer.

EXTRACT:

With Ledin’s weight splayed out across the top of the crust, and the extra weight on the rope biting into the same edge, there were moments of tension. Small pieces of rock broke away from the edge, to fall dangerously close to the exposed head of Six as he grappled to pull himself to safety. Ledin found himself holding his breath and trying not to move, in case he should dislodge any more debris.
At last Six was at the gap, and pulling himself up to safety, a grin of relief crossing his face, which was covered with dust. They both crawled carefully away from the edge, and then, as they reached the ridge, got to their feet.
Six pounded Ledin on the back. “Thanks! I knew you would figure out a way to do it!” They did a complicated sort of handshake. Then he looked past Ledin, to the girls.
“Diva. Everything all right? Grace?”
Grace nodded, smiling at him, but Diva was looking distinctly rattled.
Six stared at her. “What’s the matter?”
“Nothing.” Diva turned her back, and began to walk away. Six glanced over at Ledin, who shrugged, and then at Grace. She clearly didn’t know what was wrong with Diva either. Six walked after the Coriolan girl, and grabbed her arm. She shook him off crossly.
“Not glad to see me, Diva?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“Worried about me?”
Her eyes flashed again. “Of course not! I knew you would get out.”
“Because if you were …”
“I already said. I wasn’t.”
“Come on, Diva! You look like a Tattula cat on the prowl!”
She shook his hand off again. “Leave me alone! What do I care if you fall off a stupid rock and break that thick Kwaidian head of yours?”
Six stepped back and a slow smile spread over his face. “You were worried!”
“Was not! Just thought you might be lying there hurt, is all.”
“And I didn’t think you cared …”
Diva made a sound deep in her throat. “As if!”
Six grinned. All of a sudden he found that his spirits were soaring. He hesitated, wondering if he should make some other comment, and then decided that his best strategy was to leave things just as they were. As the others caught up, he looked around at the already darkening sky.
“Come on. We had better make tracks back to the shuttle. Otherwise we are going to have to survive a night out here with hurricane-force winds, or do a Diva and find a booby bird to snuggle up to.”
Diva growled again. “I do not snuggle up to booby birds! And they are not booby birds, you Kwaidian no-brain!”
Six felt generally pleased with life. Things were back to normal. And Diva was showing signs of fatigue. He had known it would be a long and drawn-out campaign. Whistling cheerfully, he set off at a spanking pace in the direction of the space shuttle. Perhaps it was time to plan a new skirmish. He wasn’t going to give up, however long it took. It was not in his nature.

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
Churchill in "Quotes": Wit and Wisdom from the Great Statesman
By Ammonite Press

imusti
Paperback (192 pages)

Churchill in "Quotes": Wit and Wisdom from the Great Statesman
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  • Ammonite Pr
Product Description:
Sir Winston Churchill, statesman, orator and former Prime Minister was a man whose words gave hope and inspiration to the British people, and many are as relevant today as they were during the war years. Churchill’s speeches were not always confined to serious political rhetoric and motivation: his off-the-cuff quips and comments displayed a wry wit and humour. Churchill in Quotes is a celebration of this outstanding figure in British history, presented in 200 photographs hand picked from the vast archives of the Press Association, It covers the major events in Churchill’s life: from his birth and early days at Blenheim Palace to his marriage and the birth of his children; his service in the army, war correspondence and role as First Lord of the Admiralty, and appointment as Chancellor the Exchequer; his formation of government as wartime Prime Minister and the political and cabinet posts held during almost 50 years; his career as a historian and author and his hobby as a sensitive artist; in addition to the many honours bestowed upon him, his decline, retirement and death at the age of 90 and the state funeral granted to him by the Queen.
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.


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