Uncoiled Spiny Ammonite, 30.3" high
This superb uncoiled ammonite (Crioceras nolani) was collected in Provence, France and dates to the Lower Cretaceous - approximately 133 million years old. It's a fine example of this rare ammonite, beautifully displayed, affixed to natural stone matrix.
Measures 47 x 23 x 77 cm including stone base
Ammonite itself is 47 x 40 cm
Condition report: specimen has many reconstructed spines and ribs, is composed of several pieces and the colour has been enhanced. This work is typical for ammonite specimens with this appearance. We consider it to be an outstanding "fine art fossil" and absolutely beautiful in many ways, the product of skilled workmanship and nature's wonderful forms.
Ammonites have intrigued and fascinated humans for thousands of years. Many cultures - from Australian aboriginals to the ancient Egyptians - collected and treasured these prehistoric and beautiful fossils. Perhaps it has something to do with the Fibonacci spiral pattern of their shell, which mirrors the galaxies.
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 the Devonian Period, about 400 million years ago, to their extinction along with the dinosaurs in the Cretaceous Period, 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 of weigh close to 1500 kilograms!