Orthoceras and Ammonite Composite Plate


Orthoceras and Ammonite Composite Plate
Origin: Morroco
Age: Devonian Period – approx. 350 – 450 Million Years Old
Species: Orthoceras and Ammonite
Overall Size: W.24″ D.5.5″, H.33″

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Orthoceres was one of the first members of the class Cephalopoda to appear in the fossil record. Cephalopods are fast moving predatory marine invertebrates. Living members of this group include squid, octopi and nautiloids. Orthoceres was a creature similar to a squid with eyes, tentacles and a ‘toothlike’ beak to tear its prey apart. They had the ability to squirt ink to hide their escape from an enemy. Orthoceres occupied an elongated straight cone shaped shell. This extinct group of ‘uncurled’ cephalopods first appeared during the Ordovician Period. A group of these evolved into a semi-coiled form which is generally believed to be an older (earlier) form which eventually gave rise to the curled ammonites (also extinct) and the nautiloids which still inhabit the oceans of the world today.

Morocco has vast deposits of Devonian Limestone which date back three hundred fifty million years. Ammonites found today in Morocco once flourished in a warm shallow sea which covered what is now the Sahara Desert. As the shells of the creatures accumulated on the sea floor, they were buried by sediments and, over the ages, transformed into stone by physical and chemical processes.

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