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Iridescent Ammonite (Ammolite) in Matrix, 8.0"

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This incredible specimen is a stunning example of an iridescent Canadian ammonite in shale matrix. Its entire shell is preserved with gorgeous ammolite. It displays multiple hues: reds, oranges, golds, greens and even some of the rare blues. As the rock is not too large, this specimen can be displayed on a stand or hung on the wall. It has everything needed for both.

Ammolite is a rare, opal-like gemstone found in Alberta's Upper Cretaceous Bearpaw formation, just east of the Rocky Mountains. Complete specimens, especially with such intense coloration and lustre, are exceedingly rare.

Ammonite measures approximately 20 cm. (8”) in diameter in a natural rock matrix that measures approximately 58 cm X 36 cm (23” X 14”).

Species: Placenticeras intercalare

Deposit: Bearpaw Formation

Location: Southern Alberta, Canada 

Age: Late Cretaceous (71 million years old)

Registration Number 20(1105)

Ammonites belong to the Mollusca Phylum in a Class known as Cephalopods – “head-footed” creatures such as octopus and squid. They swam in ancient oceans from 400 million years ago, to their extinction, along with the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago.

Ammonites were free floating invertebrates that were attacked by plesiosaurs and mosasaurs, two groups of gigantic marine reptiles. One way that ammonites could avoid an attack was to quickly change their buoyancy levels, zig zagging and sinking rapidly.

These incredible prehistoric animals ranged in size from tiny species only a few centimetres in diameter to the monstrous Cretaceous ammonite, Parapuzosia seppenradensis, which grew to about 3 meters and would probably weigh close to 1500 kilograms!