Atlas Mountain Range, South Morocco (Northern Sahara Desert)
PERIOD: 395-345 million years ago
you are looking for a spectacular and GIANT display specimen of orthoceras
then this specimen comes with high recommendations. It is a superb single giant slab filled with wonderful
and completely natural orthoceras fossils given a high polish to better
view the creature from its surrounding matrix. This is not the
common composites you see typically offered in the market but is a 100%
authentic heavy fossil rock slab loaded with these beautiful prehistoric
sea squid. The slab features very high
relief as well as dramatic texture and detail. As these forms of
prehistoric squid were covered in ocean sediments prior to
fossilization, the majority of the creatures will be facing in the same
relative position having been lined up by currents on the sea floor
prior to being buried.
term 'straight' cephalopods is used here to describe fossil examples of
straight ammonoids called Baculites, straight nautiloids called
Orthoceras and Belemnites.
evolved during the Late Cambrian Period. Their bodies were
predominantly elongate with conical shells. Some of these
creatures evolved into semi-coiled forms eventually giving rise to
coiled cephalopods like ammonites and nautili. Another branch of
straight-shelled cephalopods continued to coexist with the coiled forms
on into the Pennsylvanian Period. These straight forms were much
less diverse and abundant than the coiled cephalopods, as a
cephalopods were among the most advanced invertebrates of their time having
eyes, jaws, and a sophisticated nervous system. These creatures
were predators that swam freely using a
jet propulsion system by squirting water from their bodies. They had
tentacles and ink sacs also much like the present-day squid.
for belemnites, cephalopods had
external shells with hollow internal chambers separated by walls called septa. A tube called the siphuncle, connected the body with the
chambers allowing the animal to fill them with water or air, changing
its buoyancy in order to rise or drop in the ocean.
the last and largest chamber was occupied by the living animal.
Belemnites were different in that they had internal shells called
'guards' which were covered with the soft, muscular tissues of their
bodies. These shells were also chambered but much less complex
than the straight varieties of nautiloids and ammonoids.
cephalopods probably lived for one to six years, with the majority living two to
four years. They fed on plankton (tiny free-floating organisms), sea
lilies, and smaller
orthoceras. Although many fed off the ocean floor, others may have
caught plankton while floating or swimming via jet propulsion,
expelling water through a funnel-like opening to propel themselves in
the opposite direction.
straight cephalopods lived
exclusively in marine environments, their presence also indicates the
location of prehistoric seas.
famous and very large fossil deposit of these animals known by the
can be found in Morocco, North Africa. Hundreds of millions of years ago, as they died,
their shells accumulated in great numbers on the sea floor where they
were aligned by currents, buried by sediments, and transformed over the
ages into stone. Today, this prehistoric sea floor is ironically,
found in the dramatic Atlas Mountain Range in southern Morocco at the
northern fringe of the Sahara Desert.
DISPLAY SPECIMEN OF GIANT PROPORTIONS WITH EXCELLENT DETAIL!
29" x 17.5" overall
Item - One Only