By Sarah Boessenecker (@tetrameryx)
Happy Fossil Friday!
Ammonites are an amazing group of fossils that can be found all over the world today. They were an incredibly diverse group of cephalopods, arising in the early Devonian (~400 million years ago) and they lived until the end of the Cretaceous period (65 million years ago). While they look similar to the modern nautilus of today, these mollusks are actually most closely related to squids, octopus, and cuttlefish. The term “ammonite” actually dates back from Ancient Greece, when Pliny the Elder thought the resembled the horns of the Egyptian god Ammon – he called these fossils ‘ammonis cornua.‘
Ammonites are often used as index fossils for paleontologists, as different genera evolved and died out rather quickly in geologic time. As such, they are very useful for biostratigraphy.
We have an amazing collection of ammonites here at the CCNHM, so be sure to take a moment to discover them all on your next visit!
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