Coastal organisms trapped in 99-million-year-old amber

Most amber inclusions are organisms that lived in the forest. It is very rare to find sea life trapped in amber. However, an international research group led by Prof. Wang Bo from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology ...

Physics determined ammonite shell shape

Ammonites are a group of extinct cephalopod mollusks with ribbed spiral shells. They are exceptionally diverse and well known to fossil lovers. Régis Chirat, researcher at the Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon: Terre, Planètes ...

Ammonites were probably eaten by fellow cephalopods

(PhysOrg.com) -- Fossilized ammonites found with bite marks in similar places on their shells suggest they were eaten by other cephalopods such as beaked squid, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the ...

Ammonites' last meal: New light on past marine food chains

Scientists have discovered direct evidence of the diet of one of the most important group of ammonites, distant relatives of squids, octopuses and cuttlefishes. The discovery may bring a new insight on why they became extinct ...

A day in the life of an ammonite

Several years ago, back when I was working as the lab and collections manager for the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site in St. George, Utah, we constructed a temporary exhibit with hundreds of ammonite shells from all over ...

Ammonite

Ammonite, as a zoological or paleontological term, refers to any member of the Ammonoidea an extinct subclass within the Molluscan class Cephalopoda which are more closely related to living coleoids (i.e. octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish) than they are to shelled nautiloids such as living species of Nautilus .

Ammonites are excellent index fossils, and it is often possible to link the rock layer in which they are found to specific geological time periods. Their fossil shells usually take the form of planispirals, although there were some helically-spiraled and non-spiraled forms (known as heteromorphs).

The name ammonite, from which the scientific term is derived, was inspired by the spiral shape of their fossilized shells, which somewhat resemble tightly coiled rams' horns. Pliny the Elder (d. 79 AD. near Pompeii) called fossils of these animals ammonis cornua ("horns of Ammon") because the Egyptian god Ammon (Amun) was typically depicted wearing ram's horns. Often the name of an ammonite genus ends in -ceras, which is Greek (κέρας) for "horn".

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