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Latest Ammonite Stories

First Fruitful, Then Futile: Ammonites Or The Boon And Bane Of Many Offspring
2012-04-23 08:48:13

For 300 million years, they were the ultimate survivors. They successfully negotiated three mass extinctions, only to die out eventually at the end of the Cretaceous along with the dinosaurs: Ammonoids, or ammonites as they are also known, were marine cephalopods believed to be related to today's squid and nautiloids. Ammonoids changed their reproductive strategy early on in the course of evolution. However, what was once a successful initial strategy may well have proved to be a fatal...

Sea-life In America’s Midwest?
2012-04-17 11:15:18

New research from the American Museum of Natural History shows that America´s Great Plains region may have once been home to some typically sea-bound creatures. Ammonites – a type of shelled mollusk, now extinct and closely related to the nautiluses and squids of today – may have lived in methane seeps when a seaway once covered America´s midwest. The findings have been published online in the journal Geology, and shed some new light on how and where these ancient...

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2011-01-10 13:22:20

Geologists at Brown University and the University of Washington have a cautionary tale: Lose enough species in the oceans, and the entire ecosystem could collapse. Looking at two of the greatest mass extinctions in Earth's history, the scientists attribute the ecosystems' collapse to a loss in the variety of species sharing the same space. It took up to 10 million years after the mass extinctions for the ecosystem to stabilize. The findings appear in Geology. The world's oceans are under...

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2011-01-07 08:25:00

Using a special form of X-ray technology, French and American researchers have managed to discern the diets of the extinct, squid-like creatures known as ammonites. The experts used the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble to analyze ammonite fossils using synchrotron X-rays. They discovered that the ancient creatures, which died out more than 65 million years ago and are related to the squid and the octopus, ate plankton. According to an ESRF press release dated January...

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2010-05-26 13:26:32

A study by researchers at the University of Toronto and the Royal Ontario Museum sheds new light on a previously unclassifiable 500 million-year-old squid-like carnivore known as Nectocaris pteryx. "We think that this extremely rare creature is an early ancestor of squids, octopuses, and other cephalopods", says Martin Smith of U of T's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) and the Department of Natural History at the ROM.  "This is significant because it means that...

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2007-02-12 03:00:00

By Steve Connor Ancient bones and other fossilised remains have been known to humans for millennia but it is only over the past 300 years or so that their true origins have been revealed. Until then, a rich folklore sought to explain these enigmatic relics from the past. Every culture in every country, it seems, wanted an explanation for the unusual objects and bizarre shapes that often seemed to emerge, as if by magic, from the ground. Imagine a group of prehistoric hunters, whose trail...