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.
Ammonite. by Nicola Griffith
By Nicola Griffith

Gollancz
Paperback (416 pages)

Ammonite. by Nicola Griffith
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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
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.
Ammonite Planets (Omnibus): Ammonite Galaxy #1-3
By Gillian Andrews

Released: 2014-07-27
Kindle Edition (816 pages)

Ammonite Planets (Omnibus): Ammonite Galaxy #1-3
 
Product Description:
This omnibus edition exclusive to the Kindle bookstore brings you the first three books of the award-winning Ammonite Galaxy series - a thousand pages in one volume!

"Awesome book! I'd give this 6 stars for writing if I could. I stayed up till 5 am last night because I was that enthralled." Rose - Podiobooks reviewer (about Valhai)

Meet Six and Diva for the first time in this special omnibus edition of the first three books in this series, starting with Valhai, which is a Readers Favorite award-winning book and a Parsec Awards finalist.

"It continues to astound me that this author has come up with something so completely original and interesting." Cynikat, Podiobooks reviewer.

EXTRACT:

The two occupants were staring at each other in disbelief.
“You’re a no-name!” said Diva, and took a step back.
“And?” said Six, and took a step forward.
“Don’t come near me!”
“I was only going to offer you my hand!” Six said, plaintively.
“I wouldn’t touch your grubby hand if I were drowning in a sea of Xianthan crocodiles!” snapped Diva.
“Oh, So sorry, your mulchiness. If I could I would instantly remove my presence, but you may have noticed this cabin is for two, and we happen to be locked in.”
“There must be some mistake. Kindly stay on your own side of the cabin!”

The Beatles in Pictures
Ammonite Press
Released: 2019-06-01
Hardcover (288 pages)

The Beatles in Pictures
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Product Description:
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.
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/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

Brand: Ammonite Press
Paperback (192 pages)

Churchill in "Quotes": Wit and Wisdom from the Great Statesman
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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.
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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Product Description:
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.


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