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

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.
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

Viking
Released: 2014-02-06
Hardcover (240 pages)

Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir
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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.
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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Product Description:
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.
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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Product Description:

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.

A Monograph of the Ammonites of the Inferior Oolite Series (Cambridge Library Collection - Monographs of the Palaeontographical Society) (Volume 1)
By Sydney Savory Buckman

Cambridge University Press
Paperback (474 pages)

A Monograph of the Ammonites of the Inferior Oolite Series (Cambridge Library Collection - Monographs of the Palaeontographical Society) (Volume 1)
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Product Description:
Originally issued between 1887 and 1907, this monograph by Sydney Savory Buckman (1860-1929) remains the most comprehensive record of British Aalenian to Lower Bajocian ammonites. Reissued here in two volumes, it features superb, accurately drawn illustrations, with some photography. Buckman's early ideas on biochronological subdivision and zonal succession are presented along with refinements in the supplement based on later research. Exhaustive descriptions of numerous morphospecies are given, many prepared when Buckman resided in Dorset and was thoroughly familiar with the local succession. He observed that it was possible to further subdivide strata beyond the zonal scheme of the day. This work laid the foundations for further writings on natural evolutionary classification and time-rock duality. Unfortunately, the monograph was discontinued before the remaining part concerning the Lower to Upper Bajocian and Lower Bathonian was completed. Nevertheless, it remains essential reading for establishing an understanding of Inferior Oolite ammonites.
Fossil Ammonite Extinct Notebook: 6 x 9 in; 15.2 x 22.9 cm
By Papersian Journals

Independently published
Paperback (120 pages)

Fossil Ammonite Extinct Notebook: 6 x 9 in; 15.2 x 22.9 cm
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A beautiful notebook to write all your projects, your recipes, to do list or other.It is composed of :6 x 9 in (15.2 x 22.9 cm) dimensions;120 ligned pagesThis notebook or journal can be an excellent gift for your loved ones.
Mastering Portrait Photography
By Sarah Plater

imusti
Paperback (176 pages)

Mastering Portrait Photography
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  • GUILD OF MASTER CRAFTSMEN
Product Description:
No more formal, corporate-style poses—this book offers a modern, vibrant approach, capturing a moment in the subject's lifestyle. It discusses technical aspects from equipment to exposure, aperture, metering, shutter speed, depth of field and white balance settings, in addition to how natural light, color and movement affect an image. The book also covers posing, home studios, backgrounds, artificial light, and pre-shoot prep such as make-up, hair styling and clothing. Post-production topics include skin retouching, color correction, printing options and presentation.
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.


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