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[Image] The Largest Ammonite In the World

Phil

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If you thought ammonites were small creatures that would fit into the palm of your hand, have a look at this monster:

Giant ammonite

This is a specimen of Parapuzosia seppenradensis, which has a diameter of 8 feet, 6 inches, weighs 3.5 tonnes and was found in rocks about 78 million years old at Seppenrade near Munster, Germany. It was discovered in 1895 by Prof Hermann Landois and is currently on display at the Munster Natural History Museum (Westfälischen Landesmuseum für Naturkunde). A cast is on display at the Museum of Natural History in LA.

This is the largest ammonite ever discovered to date. And to think Steve thought the Colossal Squid was large! Scary stuff.... :biggrin2:
 

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tonmo

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Ah, I love that... that's huge. Imagine that thing swimming around with its big ol' shell and all that in ancient waters. I love that! Thanks for posting.
 

Phil

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I wonder if the thing was fully grown? The outermost chambers seem to be somewhat worn away which would make maturity a difficult thing to determine. Perhaps a fully mature specimen was even larger????

My head has not yet exploded, Steve. How are you doing?
 

Steve O'Shea

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.... and if the shell was actually internalised, it'd be bigger than the Earth, moon, Solar System and Universe combined!!!!

There's a big one on display at NZ's national museum (they refer to the place as 'Te Papa'); we get 'em big down here too, although I've never seen anything quite like this.

I'm a box of birds Phil; how're you? I'm getting geared up to go fossil hunting in a couple of weeks; looking forward to that, and to getting out of the office. Re your head - you'll probably wake up tomorrow morn without it .... time differences and all.
 

Phil

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Steve O'Shea said:
There's a big one on display at NZ's national museum (they refer to the place as 'Te Papa'); we get 'em big down here too, although I've never seen anything quite like this.

Here are two images of the Te Papa specimen which is incorrectly billed as the 'largest ammonite in the world', though it is still an awesome specimen. It is a 145 million year old Jurassic specimen of Lytoceras taharoaense, is 1.42m in diameter and was found near Kawhia Harbour.

The Lytoceratina were a major suborder of ammonites, and were one of the most persistant and widespread groups. They are known from the early Jurassic to the end of the Cretaceous and really changed very little throughout this immense period of time. They had circular whorl sections and were poorly streamlined so it is theorised that they were probably poor swimmers. Believed to be open water or oceanic ammonites, it is thought that may have been deeper water dwellers than most other ammonites as they tended to have closely packed septa indicating the shell may have been able to resist greater pressure. The uncoiled heteromorph ammonites are believed to have stemmed from this group in the late Jurassic.

My head was pretty much where I left it last night, Steve. Not finding a blood-soaked stump on my shoulders this morning came as quite a relief. Good luck with your fossil hunt!
 

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