Orthoceras & Goniatite Sculptured Plaque | Morocco
Orthoceras (Cephalopod) & Goniatite Plaque
Approximately 7" tall
This particular piece has beautiful polished orthoceras (Cephalopod) and polished goniatite ammonite fossil specimens from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
Orthoceras are extinct "straight" cephalopods that lived during the Upper Devonian period around 370 million years ago. Like other cephalopods they lived inside of their shell, had tentacles they could use to grab food and used jet propulsion, squirting water to move.
Because of their beauty after polishing they are highly valued as decorative pieces.
One of the most widely known fossils, ammonites are eoliths of now-extinct marine molluscs called ammonoids. Due to the sheer number of ammonoids before they became extinct 65 million years ago, there are quite the abundance of fossils found today. The name ammonite comes from the god Ammon, who had spiral ram horns and was originally an Ethiopian or Libyan deity that later was worshipped all over Egypt and parts of Greece.
Ammonite Geological Properties:
Ammonite fossils have been found on every continent, in all sorts of sizes and in lots of colors, though the most common naturally occurring colors for these fossils are brown and grey. Ammonite fossils form when ammonoids died and their shells became embedded in sand or silt. The shell was protected from damage over time due to the forming layers. As the layers formed and created pressure on the shell, mineral-rich water would seep into the chambers and eventually crystallize into the rock-like fossil we find today. Ammonite can sometimes end up with a rainbow-like sheen on the surface, opalized or pyritized.