From a rare locale in Eastern Europe, this is an unusually large and beautiful white block of limestone encasing a STUNNING, naturally occurring and well-preserved Perisphinctes sp. ammonite from the Jurassic Era. The ammonite and matrix from this region are found in beautiful, ivory white color and both the ammonites and matrix are usually this same bright hue. On some occasions, the ammonites have become very slightly tinted in a light green hue but they overall, are nearly the same beautiful tone as the white limestone boulders they are found in. This is a rare size specimen with a very large limestone rock layer still partially encasing the naturally golden ammonite. Most of the ammonites found there are not this large. A visually striking and unique interior design accent.
From around the world, most fossil deposits of ammonites do NOT naturally produce the fossils on the matrix in a stark white color like this one. This source produces this unusual similar color ammonite fossils making them really impressive and attractive for interior design applications. A gold and white ammonite fossil like this can fit in any interior style from classic to extreme modern.
The chamber detail of these ammonites are very well-preserved and three dimensional. The ammonite protrudes fully off the matrix in the same form as when alive over 150 million years ago at a time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.
Ammonites are extinct invertebrates and belong to the subclass Ammonoidea, class Cephalopoda. They shared the same fate as the dinosaurs and died out at the end of the Cretaceous Period, 65 million years ago. Modern relatives of ammonites include the nautilus, squid, cuttlefish and octopus. Ammonites first appeared during the Middle Devonian Period around 400 million years ago. They became especially abundant and widespread in the seas of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, 175 million to 65 million years ago. Ammonites were so plentiful throughout various stages of geologic history that scientists use them as INDEX FOSSILS whereby the presence of certain types in a rock layer can denote a specific time period.
Ammonite fossils are mostly casts or flattened compressed impressions of the former outer shell which left a cavity that served as the mold when first buried in prehistory. If three-dimensional, these fossils may also contain remnants of the internal chamber anatomy sometimes seen if sliced open. In most cases, the actual outer shell is gone. Some rare instances in the fossil record show preserved ammonites that have retained the actual outer shell of the animal. These ammonites may still retain original coloring which may display pearl essence or iridescent phenomena due to the presence of the original mother-of-pearl layer in the fossilized shell.
Ammonites were mollusks with shells that were predominantly tightly coiled on a single plane like a wheel. These are called HOMOMORPHS. There are also other varieties called HETEROMORPHS which include members that have open helical-coiled and irregular-coiled shells, as well as straight shell examples. The soft-bodied animal living in this shell most-likely resembled an octopus but with shorter arms. Fossils are few and rare showing any soft body tissue so the concept of what the soft parts of these creatures looked like is speculative. Only the last and largest chamber was occupied by the living animal. As it matured and grew, larger chambers were added at the opening.