Iridescent Ammonite (Ammolite) in Matrix, 11.25"
This is a breathtaking example of an iridescent Canadian ammonite in shale matrix. Its entire shell is preserved with gorgeous ammolite and it displays a rainbow of vibrant colours: red, orange, gold, green and even a dash of rare blue and purple!
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 highly sought-after.
Ammonite measures approximately 11.25" diameter in a natural rock matrix that measures approximately 22" x 19" x 2"
- Species: Placenticeras costatum
- Deposit: Bearpaw Formation
- Location: Southern Alberta, Canada
- Age: Late Cretaceous (71 million years old)
- Registration Number 2(1122)
- Wall hanging cleat backing included
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!