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Ammonites and Ammolites

Ammonites (ammonis cornus, or “horns of [the Egyptian horn bearing God] Ammon”, are an extinct branch of the cephalopod class (Cephalopoda) within the mollusk Phylum (mollusca).

These marine animals, along with all Ammonoids, may no longer be found in our oceans today, but they were once a ubiquitous life form throughout the oceans as far back as 400 million years ago until the mass die-off during 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous Period.

Ranging from a mere few centimeters in diameter to a whopping 4 and a half feet, Ammonites can be easily distinguished from their distant cousin, the smooth-bodied modern Nautilus in the curved saddles (peaks) and lobes (valleys) separating its individual chambers.

Although they are typically known for their coiled shape, some orders of Ammonites actually had straight or even helix-shaped bodies. Ammonites probably fed on smaller forms of sea life and, in turn, were probably food for larger fishes and reptiles that hunted in the ancient seas.

Ammonites, when preserved under the right conditions, can be classified not only in the fossil world but may be considered to be ammoLITES, making them only fossils which have earned a place within the gem and mineral world.

This can occur only when the shell remains of an ammonite would fall to the ocean floor. Here, due to the anaerobic nature of the sediment and other factors, minerals surrounding the shell would soon create a protective barrier around its surface.

If the conditions were just right, as can be found in Canada and Madagascar, the top layers of the fossil had been stripped off, leaving layers which display an opalescence when polished.

Due to the brilliant colors they display, ammolites have become some of the most sought after fossil cum gems in recent years.

Many specimens display luminescent flashes of red and green and have become a jewelry of choice for individuals who are drawn to colors found in dichromatic glass, yet want to wear a true piece of natural art.

Ammonite Fossil (5b) Ammonite Fossil (L)
Giant Ammonite Fossil (1a)
Ammonite Fossil (h)
Ammonite Fossil (e) Ammonite Fossil (g)
Ammonite Fossils (pocket 3) Sliced Ammonite Fossils Ammonite Fossil (d)
Ammonite Fossil (f) Ammonite Fossils (dime 5) Ammonite Fossil (i)
Ammonite Fossil (c) Ammonite Fossils (dime 3) Ammonite Fossil (b)
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