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

Del Rey
Released: 2002-04-10
Kindle Edition (360 pages)

Ammonite
 
Product Description:
Change or die: the only options available on the Durallium Company-owned planet GP. The planet's deadly virus had killed most of the original colonists -- and changed the rest irrevocably. Centuries after the colony had lost touch with the rest of humanity, the Company returned to exploit GP, and its forces found themselves fighting for their lives. Afraid of spreading the virus, the Company had left its remaining employees in place, afraid and isolated from the natives.
Then anthropologist Marghe Taishan arrived on GP, sent to test a new vaccine against the virus. As she risked death to uncover the natives' biological secret, she found that she, too, was changing, and realized that not only had she found a home on GP -- she herself carried the seeds of its destruction . . .
WINNER OF THE LAMBDA AND TIPTREE AWARDS


From the Paperback edition.

Product Description:
Change or die: the only options available on the Durallium Company-owned planet GP. The planet's deadly virus had killed most of the original colonists -- and changed the rest irrevocably. Centuries after the colony had lost touch with the rest of humanity, the Company returned to exploit GP, and its forces found themselves fighting for their lives. Afraid of spreading the virus, the Company had left its remaining employees in place, afraid and isolated from the natives.
Then anthropologist Marghe Taishan arrived on GP, sent to test a new vaccine against the virus. As she risked death to uncover the natives' biological secret, she found that she, too, was changing, and realized that not only had she found a home on GP -- she herself carried the seeds of its destruction . . .
WINNER OF THE LAMBDA AND TIPTREE AWARDS


From the Paperback edition.
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.
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.
Blank Journal - Fibonacci Ammonite Shell
By Gem Books

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (150 pages)

Blank Journal - Fibonacci Ammonite Shell
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Product Description:
Blank Journal/Notebook - Fibonacci Ammonite Shell, Fossil

Great notebook for the fossil and geology lover in your life.  Can be used for class notes, as a journal, even as a place to keep track of your list of things to do.  The uses are endless.  Makes a great gift.
  • 6" x 9" 
  • college rule
  • 150 pages
  • white paper
  • glossy cover
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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Product Description:
Ammonites-and-Leaping-Fish
The Complete Book of Photography: The Essential Guide to Taking Better Photos
By Various

Ammonite Press
Hardcover (448 pages)

The Complete Book of Photography: The Essential Guide to Taking Better Photos
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Product Description:
All the know-how necessary for the beginner or enthusiatic amateur to produce compelling and stunning pictures

This comprehensive handbook covers every aspect of photography from capture through to output. It gives detailed instruction from the fundamental concepts of exposure, aperture, ISO and shutter speed, image size and format, to an in-depth analysis of composition. Instructive, easy-to-follow text explains the effects of light and color; the use of filters and the choice of lenses, flashes, and other accessories; post-production techniques; noise reduction; and retouching. Technical jargon is clearly explained, with expert advice and invaluable hints and tips given by the combined knowledge and expertise of a team of professional photographers. Practical examples are illustrated with stunning full color photographs and complemented by clear diagrams and charts.
Biographic Einstein
By Brian Clegg

Ammonite Press
Released: 2019-03-01
Hardcover (96 pages)

Biographic Einstein
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Product Description:
Many people know that Albert Einstein (1879–1955) was the creator of the theory of relativity that revolutionized modern science. What, perhaps, they don’t know is that he did not learn to speak until he was 4 years old; that he was asked to become the President of Israel in 1952, but refused; that he was under surveillance by the FBI for 22 years; and that after urging the development of the atomic bomb, he later became a proponent of nuclear disarmament. Biographic: Einstein presents an array of irresistible facts and figures converted into infographics to reveal the scientist behind the science.
Biographic Sherlock
By Viv Croot

Ammonite Press
Released: 2019-03-01
Hardcover (96 pages)

Biographic Sherlock
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Product Description:
Many people know that Sherlock Holmes was an enigmatic detective who, with his companion Dr. Watson, pursued criminals through Victorian and Edwardian England. What, perhaps, they don't know is that he investigated 60 fully documented cases, including 37 murders; that 46 of those cases began in his offices at 221B Baker Street; that only three of them involved his nemesis Moriarty; and that in his later years Holmes spent his time beekeeping on the Sussex Downs. Biographic Sherlock presents an investigative guide to his life and work, with an array of clues and observations converted into infographics to reveal the detective behind the detection.
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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Product Description:

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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