Selection of Ammonite and Nautilus Fossils


A selection of finely preserved Ammonite and Nautilus Fossils. All three examples have been cut, revealing their delicate inner chambers, as well as the polychromatic crystalline formations within each chamber. These chambers testify to the growth of each shell’s former inhabitant – Ammonites and Nautiloids were born with one tiny shell and built new chambers as they grew, thereby creating the segmented interior we can see here.

Specimen B is a Nautiloid rather than an Ammonite fossil, and we can glean this in that its chamber walls curve toward – rather than away from – its opening. The fossils all display beautifully subtle shades of cream, orange, brown and pink.

Condition: Fine condition. There are some minor cracks and chips on the exterior of Specimens A and C. Specimens B and C have also been beautifully polished.
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Ammonites are part of the cephalopod family, along with Nautiloids and Coleoids (which include squid and octopuses). Although Ammonites look similar to Nautiloids, both species inhabit a coiled shell, they are actually believed to be more closely related to Coleoids. Ammonites were born with one tiny shell and built new chambers as they grew. They would have moved into the new chamber, sealing off the older, smaller chambers, these chambers were also filled with gas, allowing the ammonite to control its buoyancy.

Ammonites first appeared around 450 million years ago, during the Paleozoic Era, and became extinct around 66 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period. Ammonites became extinct at the same time as the dinosaurs, in a mass extinction believed to have been caused by an asteroid collision.

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Reference: For a similar item,Sotheby’s, Natural History, Lot 19