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Scientific name: Perisphinctes sp,
Age: Jurassic, 150 mya
Ammonites are one of the most exciting fossils to find. It is easy to identify an ammonite as so many look like a coiled rams horn. They have beautiful swirled shells and the suture patterns, which scientists use to identify each species, can be simple or very elaborate. While most ammonites are small they can reach an amazing size of up to 6 ½ feet in diameter! Because they are found all around the world, they make excellent index fossils. This means that the rock layer they are found in can be linked to a specific geologic time.
We don't know much about the life of an ammonite because they are all extinct. Just imagine a squid stuffed into a coiled shell and you have an ammonite, we think! We believe, based on their relation to other cephalopods such as squid, cuttle fish and octopus, that they moved through the water much like these other underwater predators. They would jettison themselves by squirting water out through a siphon valve, actually going backwards in the water. They most likely preyed on shelled delicacies like clams and mollusks, as well as fish and other small ocean fauna.