110 million years (Cretaceous - Albian Stage)
Ambatolafia, Mahajanga Province, Madagascar
*NOTE: THIS FOSSIL COMES WITH A GIFT BOX, A 360° DISPLAY FRAME AND ENGRAVED BASE, A SPECIES INFORMATION CARD, AND AN INTERNATIONAL AUTHENTICITY CERTIFICATE (all included in the price). Fossil-themed greeting cards are also available.
This is a beautiful, 7cm wide, silver, iridescent ammonite fossil found near Ambatolafia in the Mahajanga Province of Madagascar. It is of the genus Cleoniceras which inhabited the shallow seas approximately 110 million years ago. If you catch it in the right light or particularly if it is wet, the fossil shines with a brilliant iridescence.
Ammonites were sea creatures (more specifically, molluscs) that look similar to today's squid and octopus. They had eyes, spiral shells and tenticles. The oldest ammonite fossils that we have are 240 million years old. The most recent ones are 65 million years old, suggesting that this was the period when they became extinct. Their fossils were found in many different countries. Ammonites are known for their beauty; their suture points create beautiful patterns. Ammonite females are believed to be larger than the males. It is also thought that ammonites had ten arms to grasp small prey such as fish. The largest ammonites that were ever found measure around 180cm.
Ammonites had a strong existence; they survived most major extinction events. With every extinction event, there were some ammonite species that came extinct and those that survived. The last ammonites got extinct in the same extinction event as the dinosaurs, approximately 65 million years ago. Some of the ammonite fossils have been found with triangular holes in them, believed that these were puncture holes created by mosasaurs (large marine reptiles that existed at that time).
History indicates that humans have always been fascinated by ammonites. In our times, the different species of ammonites that are found in the rocks, were and still are, a key to biostratigraphy (the study of different layers of rock and their age estimation). And definitely they are still much appreciated for their spectacular and beautiful features.