Ammonites

Overview

The beautiful spiral shells of these long-extinct marine invertebrates are among the most sought after and recognizable of fossils, yet little has been published about ammonites outside of geological journals. Neale Monks and Philip Palmer look at the latest ideas on ammonite biology and ecology to present this detailed picture of a once diverse and widespread group of animals.

The authors describe the evolution of ammonites and their relatives and explain how they created their...

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Overview

The beautiful spiral shells of these long-extinct marine invertebrates are among the most sought after and recognizable of fossils, yet little has been published about ammonites outside of geological journals. Neale Monks and Philip Palmer look at the latest ideas on ammonite biology and ecology to present this detailed picture of a once diverse and widespread group of animals.

The authors describe the evolution of ammonites and their relatives and explain how they created their shells and used them as flotation devices. All the major groups of ammonites are described and illustrated (as are many minor ones), and important material is included on anatomy, feeding, reproduction, and pathology. The 300-million-year existence of ammonites ended at around the same time that dinosaurs became extinct. Fortunately, ammonites were once so abundant that their fossilized shells can be readily found, and the authors provide a helpful guide to locating and collecting these unique fossils.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781588340474
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 1,407,269
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Neale Monks is a palaeontologist at The Natural History Museum in London, and has written a number of papers on the evolution of beteromorph ammonites. Phil Palmer was a scientist at The Natural History Museum in London until his retirement, and has written extensively on fossil molluses and stratigraphy.
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Table of Contents

Preface 5
Acknowledgements 7
Ch. 1 An introduction to ammonites 9
The Cephalopoda
A short history of the Cephalopoda
A clue to the past: Nautilus
The anatomy of Nautilus
Ch. 2 Ammonite fossils 33
Ammonite shell morphology
The suture line
The aptychus
Ammonite soft body anatomy
Ch. 3 Ammonite form and function 53
Buoyancy
Water pressure
Orientation
Jet propulsion, half a billion years before Frank Whittle
Streamlining
Defence
Ch. 4 Aspects of ammonite biology 89
Sexual dimorphism
Ammonite reproduction
Ammonite old age, pathology and predators
Ch. 5 Ammonite taxonomy and classification 107
Suborder Anarcestina
Suborder Clymeniina
Suborder Goniatitina - the goniatites
Suborder Prolecanitina
Suborder Ceratitina - the ceratites
Suborder Phylloceratina
Suborder Lytoceratina
Suborder Ancyloceratina - the heteromorphs
Suborder Ammonitina - the true ammonites
Ch. 6 The extinction of the ammonites 135
Periodic extinctions throughout the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic
Late Cretaceous decline and extinction
The ammonites' successors - the Coleoidea
Collecting ammonites and ammonite collections 143
Further information 145
Glossary 148
Index 154
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