An ammonoid is an extinct cephalopod mollusk with a flat-coiled spiral shell.
An ammonite may be an ammonoid that belongs to the order Ammonitida, typically having elaborately frilled suture lines.
An ammonitic ammonoid in the images on the right shows the septal surface (especially at right) with its undulating lobes and saddles.
- 1 Mollusks
- 2 Cephalopods
- 3 Theoretical ammonites
- 4 Agoniatites
- 5 Ammonites
- 6 Ceratites
- 7 Clymeniids
- 8 Goniatites
- 9 Lytocerates
- 10 Nostoceratids
- 11 Phyllocerates
- 12 Prolecanites
- 13 Coleoids
- 14 Belemnoids
- 15 Nautiloids
- 16 Anatomy
- 17 Predation
- 18 Sizes
- 19 Paleocene
- 20 Cretaceous
- 21 Late Cretaceous
- 22 Maastrichtian
- 23 Edmontonian
- 24 Judithian
- 25 Campanian
- 26 Haumurian
- 27 Aquilan
- 28 Santonian
- 29 Piripauan
- 30 Teratan
- 31 Coniacian
- 32 Senonian
- 33 Emscherian
- 34 Mangaotanean
- 35 Turonian
- 36 Cenomanian
- 37 Arowhanan
- 38 Upper Cretaceous
- 39 Jurassic
- 40 Late Jurassic
- 41 Upper Jurassic
- 42 Tithonian
- 43 Kimmeridgian
- 44 Oxfordian
- 45 Middle Jurassic
- 46 Callovian
- 47 Bathonian
- 48 Bajocian
- 49 Aalenian
- 50 Lower Jurassic
- 51 Toarcian
- 52 Pliensbachian
- 53 Sinemurian
- 54 Hettangian
- 55 Triassic
- 56 Upper Triassic
- 57 Rhaetian
- 58 Norian
- 59 Carnian
- 60 Middle Triassic
- 61 Ladinian
- 62 Anisian
- 63 Lower Triassic
- 64 Olenekian
- 65 Spathian
- 66 Smithian
- 67 Induan
- 68 Paleozoic
- 69 Permian
- 70 Carboniferous
- 71 Pennsylvanian
- 72 Mississippian
- 73 Middle Mississippian
- 74 Devonian
- 75 Upper Devonian
- 76 Famennian
- 77 Frasnian
- 78 Middle Devonian
- 79 Givetian
- 80 Eifelian
- 81 Lower Devonian
- 82 Emsian
- 83 Pragian
- 84 Lochkovian
- 85 Early Devonian
- 86 Silurian
- 87 Ordovician
- 88 Upper Ordovician
- 89 Cambrian
- 90 Middle Cambrian
- 91 Hypotheses
- 92 Sciences
- 93 See also
- 94 References
- 95 External links
Def. a "rasping tongue of snails and most other mollusks" is called a radula.
As a mollusk an ammonite may be expected to have
- a mantle with a cavity for breathing and excretion,
- a radula, and
- a structured nervous system.
An ammonite is expected to have cephalopod characteristics
- bilateral body symmetry,
- a prominent head, and
- a set of arms or tentacles (muscular hydrostats).
Def. "the scientific study of squid (often extended to all cephalopods)" is called teuthology.
"Teuthology, a branch of malacology, is the study of cephalopods."
Def. "any of numerous flat spiral fossil shells of cephalopods" is called an ammonite.
We "describe the overall mode of growth of ammonoids with reference to Nautilus, the only externally shelled cephalopod that is still extant. Ammonoids are, in fact, phylogenetically more closely related to coleoids than they are to Nautilus (Engeser, 1990; Jacobs and Landman, 1993; Chapter 1, this volume). However, the retention of an external shell in ammonoids implies that these extinct forms shared with Nautilus basic similarities in their processes of growth, although not necessarily a similarity in their rate of growth or age at maturity."
On the right are schematic drawings of four growth stages of Hoploscaphites nicolletii in lateral and transverse cross-sections:
- A is an embryonic shell called the ammonitella, scale bar 500 µm,
- B is the first postembryonic stage called the neanic and the animal or shell is called the neanoconch, scale bar 1 mm,
- C is a juvenile, scale bar 5 mm, and
- D is an adult, scale bar is 1 cm.
Agoniatites are also known as Anarcestes.
Agoniatites vanuxemi, on the lower right, is the only species of Ammonoid found in the Hamilton Group, Mahantango Formation.
These are ammonites of the suborder Ammonitida.
A ceratite may be an ammonoid of an intermediate type, typically with partly frilled and partly lobed suture lines.
"The Ceratitida, which is the dominant ammonoid order of the early Mesozoic and one of the major orders of Ammonoidea, ranged from early Permian to the end of Triassic times, and has an almost worldwide distribution (Hewitt et al., 1993; Page, 1996)."
Any clymeniid may be an ammonoid with a dorsal siphuncle; i.e., a siphuncle on the inside of the coil rather than the outside.
An ammonoid like the one on the right typically with simple angular suture lines is referred to as a goniatite.
- loosely coiled,
- exposed whorls,
- whorls touching,
- subcircular to narrowly compressed whorls,
- broadly arched, or keeled venter,
- smooth or ribbed sides,
- aptychi are single valved and concentrically striated,
- suture saddle endings tend to be rounded but usually not phylloid,
- lobes tend to be more jagged with thorn-like endings, and
- complex moss-like suture endings with adventious and secondary subdivisions.
Nipponites mirabilis on the right may be from the Upper Cretaceous.
"Type species by original designation of Librovitch 1957, Protocanites supradevonicus Schindewolf (1926)."
In the diagrams above are the suture patterns for various species holotypes:
- A - Protocanites gurleyi (Smith),
- B - Eocanites supradevonicus supradevonicus (Schindewolf),
- C - Eocanites semageominus (House),
- D - Eocanites wangyounensis(Ruan & He),
- E - Michiganites algarbiensis (Pruvost),
- F - Michiganites marshallensis (Winchell),
- G - Michiganites scalibrinii (Antelo),
- H - Michiganites greenei (Miller).
The subclass Coleoidea has the cohort Belemnoidea which may contain shelled cephalopods.
The cohort Belemnoidea has five extinct orders. Any one of these may contain cephalopods with an external shell.
"Belemnites (Belemnitida) were squid-like animals belonging to the cephalopod class of the mollusc phylum, and therefore related to the ammonites of old as well as to the modern squids, octopuses and nautiluses."
"Now extinct, their fossils are found in rocks of Jurassic and Cretaceous ages, with a few species hanging on into the early part of the Tertiary. The animal’s soft parts very rarely fossilise, leaving us with only the hard parts; the guard and the phragmacone."
"Pendleian age rocks in the Chainman Shale include the upper beds of the Camp Canyon Member and the Willow Gap Limestone Member. The fossil cephalopods [an example of Hematites barbarae is shown above] are from these rocks in the Confusion Range and Burbank Hills of western Millard County."
For the study of the "shell morphology and ultrastructure in Hematites [more] than 30 specimens of this genus were collected by the second author from the Upper Mississippian in Arkansas. The data obtained confirm the detailed description of the external shell morphology [diagrammed on the right] in the genus published by FLOWER & GORDON (1959) and GORDON (1964), and it also includes new information on the conotheca structure, conotheca rostrum/mantle attachment, “living” chamber length, and morphology of the adoral portion of the rostrum."
"Schematic diagram of the medial shell section in Hematites [on the right shows] the truncation of the initial portion of the phragmocone which is plugged by the central rod structure (crs) and by the additional septum (as). Scale bar: 1 mm. as = additional septum; c = conotheca; r = rostrum; s = septum; sn = septal neck; t = place of truncation."
The image on the right suggests that Phragmoteuthis conocauda does not have an external shell.
"Belemnites [...] have a worldwide distribution."
Shells or shell-like structures are the phragmacone in the image on the left and the rostrum, the second image on the left, which have been found apparently internal to the soft body. The second image down on the left shows rostrums from Passatoteuthis auricipitis Lang, Jurassic, Lower Lias, found in Gloucestershire.
The image second down on the right shows a rostrum from the genus Peratobelus, found in the Cairn mine, South Australia.
Def. a cephalopod mollusk with a light external spiral shell that is white with brownish bands on the outside and lined with mother-of-pearl on the inside is called a nautiloid.
Nautiloidea is another subclass of cephalopods.
"Nautilus [included in the diagram on the left] is one of the few surviving animals resembling the primitive or original cephalopods. The fossilized shells of these extinct forms, called ammonites (A), are quite common. (B) is a deep-sea species Nautilus pompilius that lives in tropical waters. To the right is a section through Nautilus showing the shell (1) and siphuncle (2) wound in a spiral. Immediately behind the tentacles lies the mouth (4) leading to the intestine (7). Nautilus has an advanced nervous system with a brain (3) and respires by means of gills (6) that are located in the mantle cavity. It swims by forcing a jet of water out of its mantle cavity and through the siphon (5)."
"Nautiluses first evolved in the Cambrian period and became significant marine predators during the Ordovician period."
An individual example of the genus Nautilus is on the right.
A couple of Nautilus macromphalus are on the left, photographed during a night dive, at 15 meters, near Lifou, Sandal wood bay, New Caledonia.
"The six living species of nautiluses are:
- No common name (Allonautilus perforates),
- Crusty Nautilus (Allonautilus scrobiculatus),
- Palau Nautilus (Nautilus belauensis),
- Bellybutton Nautilus (Nautilus macromphalus),
- Chambered Nautilus (Nautilus pompilius), and
- White-patch Nautilus (Nautilus stenomphalus)".
Centered at the top is an artist's impression of an Orthoceras species from the middle Ordovician.
On the left is a fossil of Orthoceras currens.
Cut in the plane of the spiral (medial or median cut), the shell reveals the chambers inside.
On the left is an internal mold from a Baculites individual. The original aragonite of the outer conch and inner septa has dissolved away, leaving this articulated internal mold. Baculites is an ammonite from the Late Cretaceous of Wyoming.
The tissue used to close the chamber to the outside is called an aptychus. Perisphictes on the lower left has aptychi.
Agoniatites have a central siphuncle as shown in the illustration on the right with septal necks pointing to the rear (retrochoanitic).
The diagrams on the lower left show median sections where the siphuncle is in a ventral position. Measurements to characterize an ammonite are indicated in the right-hand diagram. The abbreviations are for ammonitella (am), caecum (c), initial chamber (ic), primary constriction (pc), prosiphon (ps), siphunclar tube (s), proseptum (first septum, s1), primary septum (second septum, s2), third septum (s3), maximum initial chamber size (A), minimum initial chamber size (B), ammonitella size (D), and ammonitella angle (E).
The fossil shell of ammonite Placenticeras whitfieldi on the right shows punctures caused by the bite of a mosasaur.
"In the late Cretaceous, it is the mosasaurs that have been identified as ammonite predators, beginning with the study of Kauffman and Kesling (1960), who described a 300 mm diameter Placenticeras (first illustrated by Fenton and Fenton in 1958) from the Late Campanian Pierre Shale of South Dakota that had been bitten, in their interpretation no less than 16 times, by what they concluded to be a platycarpine mosasaur (we suggest that the mosasaur was playing with its prey, as do contemporary cetaceans)."
"A juvenile specimen of the ammonite Pseudaspidoceras [in the image on the left] from the Early Turonian [Late Cretaceous] of the Goulmima area in the Province of Er-Rachida in south-eastern Morocco shows clear evidence of predation by a tooth-bearing vertebrate."
"These [teeth punctures] are interpreted as the product of a single bite by a mosasauroid, probably a Tethysaurus."
"All of the convincing well-documented examples of mosasaur-bitten ammonite shells are thus from North America, the overwhelming majority from the Late Campanian of the northern part of the Western Interior of the United States and Alberta in Canada."
"The Goulmima occurrence is the only convincing record of mosasauroid attack on an ammonite outside North America, and of the latter, the overwhelming majority are restricted to the Late Campanian of the northern interior. The only adequately documented putative occurrence outside of the interior, in the Early Maastrichtian Rosario Formation of Baja California, Mexico, may not in fact be by a mosasaur, although there is evidence of mosasauroid attack on two Campanian nautiloids from San Diego County in California."
"Given the above, we see no evidence to support the view that there was coevolution between ammonites and mosasaurs, nor that mosasaurs were "The ecologically dominant predators of Cretaceous marine seas" as proposed by Kauffman (1990)."
On the right is an image of the world's largest known ammonite, Parapuzosia seppenradensis (originally Pachydiscus seppenradensis) discovered in Seppenrade, Germany. The partial fossil specimen has a shell diameter of 1.95 metres (6.4 ft). But, the living chamber was incomplete. The shell diameter may have been about 2.55 metres (8.4 ft) when it was alive.
The Paleocene dates from 65.5 ± 0.3 x 106 to 55.8 ± 0.2 x 106 b2k.
Post-"Cretaceous ammonites of the genus Hoploscaphites have been found at Stevns Klint in Denmark (Machalski & Heinberg, 2005; Machalski et al., 2009)."
"The maximum age for Danian scaphitid survivors from the Cerithium Limestone at Stevns Klint, Denmark, has recently been estimated to be around 0.2 Ma following the K–Pg boundary event (Machalski and Heinberg in press). Assuming the Cretaceous– Paleogene boundary at 65.4 ± 0.1 Ma (Jagt and Kennedy 1994), the present study covers more than 4 Ma of the final stages in scaphitid evolution."
"Scaphitid material from subunit IVf−7 at the very top of the Meerssen Member [...] traditionally regarded to be uppermost Maastrichtian, has recently been reassigned to the lowermost Danian, based on microfossil and strontium isotope evidence (Smit and Brinkhuis 1996). According to Jagt et al. (2003), the scaphitid and baculitid ammonites preserved in subunit IVf−7 are early Danian survivors."
Above center are Hoploscaphites constrictus johnjagti subsp. nov., adult macroconchs, ammonites from the Danian: A. MGUH 27366, lowermost Danian, Stevns Klint, Denmark, in apertural (A1), lateral (A2, A3), and ventral (A4) views.
"The Cretaceous period is the third and final period in the Mesozoic Era. It began 145.5 million years ago after the Jurassic Period and ended 65.5 million years ago, before the Paleogene Period of the Cenozoic Era."
Scaphites hippocrepis is an index fossil for the Cretaceous.
In the top center is a 2.7 cm section of a polished shell with 6 sutures. It is from the extinct cephalopod Baculites compressus; Cretaceous, 100 million years old, Bearpaw Formation, Montana, USA.
The lower center is a fossil cast of a Baculites grandis shell taken at the North American Museum of Ancient Life.
On the right is an example of Plesiacanthoceras wyomingense from the late Cretaceous in Wyoming, USA. It is exhibited in Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Hall of Fossils.
Extends from 70.6 ± 0.6 to 65.5 ± 0.3 Mya.
The specimen on the left is Jeletzkytes spedeni from the Maastrichtian (Upper-Cretaceous) Fox Hills Formation, locality - South Dakota, USA. Matrix free specimen is 7.5 cm (3") in diameter, displaying pearly aragonite preservation of the shell.
The center photo is of Baculites ovatus, at the Naturalis Museum, Leiden.
Baculites ovatus apparently occurs in the Ripley Formation.
Extends from 80.8 to 70.7 Mya.
Extends from 82.2 to 80.8 Mya.
The Bearpaw Formation is famous for its well-preserved ammonite fossils. These include Placenticeras meeki and Placenticeras intercalare, and the baculite Baculites compressus.
Extends from 83.5 ± 0.7 to 70.6 ± 0.6 Mya.
Extends from 84 to 65.5 Mya.
Extends from 85.2 to 82.2 Mya.
Extends from 85.8 ± 0.7 to 83.5 ± 0.7 Mya.
Extends from 86.5 to 84 Mya.
Extends from 89.1 to 86.5 Mya.
Extends from 89.3 ± 1.0 to 85.8 ± 0.7 Mya.
Extends from 89.3 to 65.5 Mya.
Extends from 89.5 to 83.5 Mya.
Extends from 92.1 to 89.1 Mya.
Extends from 93.5 ± 0.8 to 89.3 ± 1.0 Mya.
Benueites is a Turonian ammonite genera from Nigeria.
Acanthoceras rhotomagensis fossils may be found in Western Europe and western North America.
Extends from 95.2 to 92.1 Mya.
Discoscaphites iris on the right is an ammonite from the Owl Creek Formation (Upper Cretaceous), Owl Creek, Ripley, Mississippi USA.
The Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary occurs at 144.2 ± 2.6 Ma (million years ago).
On the left is a photograph of Asteroceras obtusum from the Jurassic Lower Lias Formation, Obtusum Zone. Locality is Lyme Regis, Dorset, England. Complete calcified specimen measures 11.5 cm (4.5") in diameter, in a limestone matrix.
Perisphinctes tiziani is an index fossil for the Jurassic.
On the right is an example of Kosmoceras cromptoni from the Late Jurassic, Chippenham, England.
Lithacosphinctes achilles is from the Kimmeridgian.
On the right is an image of Peltoceras solidum, an ammonite from the Matmor Formation (Jurassic, Callovian), Makhtesh Gadol, Israel.
On the left is an example of Kosmoceras medea.
Another species of Kosmoceras is on the lower right, specifically Kosmoceras proniae.
Leioceras opalinum is an ammonite from the Aalenian.
Uptonia jamesoni from the lower Jurassic is in the family Polymorphitidae, superfamily Eoderocerataceae, order Ammonitida, subclass Ammonoidea, class Cephalopoda.
Pleuroceras spinatum (Bruguière 1789) is of the family Amaltheidae. It is a pyritic specimen. The biozone index is to the end of Pliensbachian.
Psiloceras psilonotum, Psiloceras spelae tirolicum and Psiloceras planorbis are from the Hettangian.
The Triassic/Jurassic boundary occurs at 205.7 ± 4.0 Ma (million years ago).
Although the example of Psiloceras tilmanni is from the Jurassic. Its lowest occurrence is in the New York Canyon section of Nevada USA which may be Triassic.
Trophites subbuliatus is an index fossil for the Triassic.
An example of Ussuriphyllites amurensis (Kiparisova) is on the right. It is from the Lower-most Anisian, Atlasov Cape area.
The Spathian is sometimes referred to as the Late Olenekian.
Olenekoceras meridianum is a "typical Late Olenekian [fossil which] differs in its lithology from the same zone of Russian Island, where the Zhitkov Suite has been recognized (Zakharov, 1997; Zakharov et al., 2004)."
The Smithian is sometimes referred to as the Early Olenekian.
The Paleozoic era spanned 542.0 ± 1.0 to 251.0 ± 0.7 Mb2k.
The Permian lasted from 299.0 ± 0.8 to 251.0 ± 0.4 Mb2k.
The Permian/Triassic boundary occurs at 248.2 ± 4.8 Ma (million years ago).
The Carboniferous began 359.2 ± 2.5 Mb2k and ended 299.0 ± 0.8 Mb2k.
The Pennsylvanian lasted from 318.1 ± 1.3 to 299.0 ± 0.8 Mb2k.
The Mississippian lasted from 359.2 ± 2.5 to 318.1 ± 1.3 Mb2k.
Prolecanites gurleyi is an index fossil of the Mississippian.
"This species has been consistently identified with the considerably younger, late Viséan (late Holkerian to Asbian [late Meramecian to early Chesterian]) genus Beyrichoceras Foord, 1903 (type species, Goniatites obtusus Phillips, 1836) (eg, Gordon, 1965, p. 284."
The Devonian spanned 416.0 ± 2.8 to 359.2 ± 2.5 Mb2k.
A specimen of Clymenia laevigata from the Upper Devonian Famennian of Poland is on the right.
On the left is a fossil of Platyclymenia intracrostata also from the Famennian of Poland.
Mimagoniatites is a genus of ammonites from the early Devonian.
"Shell [is] small to large size, evolute, thinly discoidal to discoidal. Whorl cross section of the first two whorls [is] approximately circular, in later whorls subtrapezoidal. Umbilicus [is] narrow to moderately wide, moderately large umbilical window (< 1 mm). Whorl expansion rate increases remarkably from the second whorl on (> 2.5, later up to 3.9). Growth line course [is] biconvex with prominent ventrolateral projection and deep ventral sinus."
The lower boundary of the genus is "LD3C--LD3D: Anetoceras Range Zone top, 405.5 million years" and the upper boundary is "CZB maureri--sulc.antiqua Zone [19,30], 398.5 million years".
Geographic distribution: "Devonian of Algeria (2 collections), Canada (1: Nunavut), China (7), the Czech Republic (5), Germany (3), Morocco (13), the Russian Federation (1), Spain (4), Turkey (3), United States (1: Pennsylvania)".
The Silurian spanned 443.7 ± 1.5 to 416.0 ± 2.8 Mb2k.
Hexamoceras hertzeri is an index fossil for the Silurian.
"Rolfe made the important observation that 'Other genera are pre-Devonian and hence cannot be ammonoid aptychi, but Ruedemann's suggestion that aptychi "would naturally also have existed in the Ordovician and Silurian cephalopods" has been largely overlooked'."
The Ordovician lasted from 488.3 ± 1.7 to 443.7 ± 1.5 Mb2k.
The image on the right is an over-encrusted, internal mold of a nautiloid from the Upper Ordovician of northern Kentucky.
The Cambrian lasted from 542.0 ± 1.0 to 488.3 ± 1.7 Mb2k.
"We recently redescribed the Middle Cambrian organism Nectocaris pteryx known from 92 specimens from the Burgess Shale (Smith & Caron 2010). [This] new material allowed us to identify new features consistent with a cephalopod affinity."
- Each of the ammonoids has a set of genes producing a distinct suture mark.
- Ammonoids are alive today.
- Morphological descriptions should be sufficient to identify unknown ammonites at the species level.
Classification of Baculites ovatus:
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Regnum: Animalia
- Subregnum: Eumetazoa
- Cladus: Bilateria
- Superphylum: Protostomia
- Phylum: Mollusca
- Classis: Cephalopoda
- Subclassis: Ammonoidea
- Ordo: Ammonitida
- Subordo: Ancyloceratina
- Superfamilia: Turrilitoidea
- Familia: Baculitidae
- Genus: Baculites
- Species: Baculites ovatus (Say, 1820)
The subclassis: Ammonoidea contains the ordines: Ammonitida, Ceratitida, Clymeniida, Goniatitida, and Prolecanitida.
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