Fossilized Ammonite pendant is set in a handmade silver plated metal bezel and suspended by a genuine 2mm black leather 16 inch necklace cord with sterling silver end caps and hook and eye clasp. The pendant size is 1.25 inch width, 1.9 inch length. Thickness is about 1/3 inch. This is a beautiful fossil of an Ammonite with deep brown colors, you can see that many of the chambers are filled with hardened minerals and the familiar spiral pattern. This fossil ammonite was cut in half and polished so that the little chambers and spiral patterns can be revealed.
What is an Ammonite?
Ammonites were animals that lived in the sea. They went extinct with the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Scientists use the various shapes and sizes of Ammonite shells that appeared and disappeared through the ages to date other fossils.
Ammonites were predatory, squidlike creatures that lived inside coil-shaped shells. Like other cephalopods, ammonites had sharp, beaklike jaws inside a ring of tentacles that extended from their shells to snare prey such as small fish and crustaceans.
Ammonites constantly built new shell as they grew, but only lived in the outer chamber. They scooted through the warm, shallow seas by squirting jets of water from their bodies. A thin, tubelike structure called a siphuncle reached into the interior chambers to pump and siphon air and helped them move through the water.
How do Ammonites become fossilized?
Fossils are the impressions left in the rock from the remains of extinct, prehistoric plants and animals that lived many millions of years ago. Millions of years ago the Ammonite creature inside the coiled shell died, and then decomposed (or eaten by a predator) and the shell ended up on the sea bed.
The shell became covered in silt or sand, which protected it from stormy seas and damage. After only a few hundred years the shell could be buried quite deeply.
Over thousands of years the shell become covered by deeper and deeper layers of sand and silt. As millions of years passed, the climate changed and the ocean receded. The area that was once a sea was now on dry land.
Voids left by the shell were slowly replaced by water that was rich in minerals. The original materials of the shell were thus replaced with a rock-like substitute of the original creature a process referred to a permineralization. The rock that was once seabed is over time exposed to the elements. Fossilized Ammonites can be found in cliffs and rivers.