Ammonite cleoniceras In Matrix (Composite)
This superb Ammonite cleoniceras in matrix has a superb opalescent lustre. The colours are quite stunning, with flashes of green, blue and also red. This gorgeous colouring is entirely natural and is due to the mineral aragonite being present during the fossilisation process. This fossil dates back to the Cretaceous period 120 million years ago. The ammonite itself has been cleverly set at an angle into a grey piece of stone, making it a gorgeous display piece. These ammonites come from an isolated region deep in the Mahajanga jungle on the north west coast of Madagascar.
Ammonites have been extinct for 65 million years. They are a form of Cephalopod, a group of marine molluscs. These first appeared in the Devonian Period, over 4oo million years ago. The soft body tissues of the ammonites are very rarely found fossilised. As the ammonite grew larger it added new chambers to the shell, with the ammonite itself only living in the largest chamber. The name Ammonite, derives from from ‘Ammon’ the Greek God. Ammonites were plankton feeders, they had long tentacles, and they also swam upright. Altogether, there were in the region of ten thousand different species. Ammonites became extinct 65 million years ago, which was also the time the dinosaurs became extinct. The squid and octopus that swim in our seas now however, are closely related.