I really love pyritized ammonites – they’re such a spectacular sight (as you can see both here and here) – but this one is really interesting and different. Ammonites an extinct group of marine invertebrate animals that (in a way) ruled the Earth’s seas for almost 250 million years. Ammonites thrived so much and they were so numerous that today they are
This is a heavily pyritized Pleuroceras ammonite fossil collected near Forcheim, Germany. The fossil is approximately 185 million years old, from the Jurassic (the Pliensbachian stage). Naturally the color is much duller but these specimens have been brushed with a wire brush to create a brilliant gold shine. Ammonites are a group of extinct animals which roamed the planet’s oceans for almost 250
It’s not just animals that get fossilized, trees can become amazing fossils as well, and here we have a great example. Log fossilization is the result of a tree or tree-like plants having completely transitioned to stone by the process of permineralization. All the organic materials have been replaced with minerals (mostly a silicate, such as quartz), while retaining the
This is the largest spider fossil ever found: Mongolarachne jurassica. Mongolarachne is an extinct genus of spider which lived in the Middle to Late Jurassic, over 100 million years ago (likely some 164 million years ago). Interestingly enough, Mongolarachne jurassica is known only from two fossils. You can see in the picture below a male to the right, and a female to the
Imgur user anthroteus documented, step by step (with pictures, of course) how he reconstructs dinosaurs from fossils. Here’s his process, as described on Imgur: We make life reconstructions of dinosaurs. If you see an awesome dino in a museum, it was probably us (the crappy ones are definitely someone else). We get photos like this to work from, and sometimes
Pedreira do Galinha (literally “The chicken’s quarry”, but more on that later) is one of the most important paleontological sites in Portugal and one of the most amazing places that I had the opportunity to visit. So, what is this magical (from a paleontological point of view) place? Well, here lie the fossilized footprints of the biggest beings on Earth
Via Fossilera.com Tumidocarcinus giganteus roamed today’s New Zealand in the Miocene. The Miocene is the first geological epoch of the Neogene period and extends from about 23.03 to 5.332 million years ago. Life in the Miocene was marked by the development of two new biomes, kelp forests and grasslands. This allows for more grazers, such as horses, rhinoceroses,and hippos. Marine
What we’re seeing here is an ammonite fossil. Ammonites are an extinct group of marine invertebrate animals which were basically ubiquitous throughout the Mesozoic, but went extinct after it. Finding an ammonite fossil is therefore not particularly rare, and they can be found in many places of the world. What makes it special is the fact that it was pyritized. Pyritization
A newly discovered exceptionally well preserved 5 foot long Chasmosaurus Belli juvenile was discovered in an ancient riverbed in Alberta, Canada. The fossil is so well preserved that it actually left imprints of its skin on the rocks. The dinosaur was about three years old and paleontologists believe it probably drowned, and was buried and preserved by sediments. With a length of
Ok, I don’t know about you, but I simply can’t get enough of these ammonite fossils! I mean, they come in all shapes and sizes, and to make things even flashier… they even come in all colors! Opal is a hydrated amorphous form of silica, so the process of opalisation refers to something turning into an opal – like for
Archelon Ischyros on display at the Yale Peabody Museum in New Haven, Connecticut, taken in 1914. The specimen is the largest turtle ever to be known, measuring 13 feet in length (4 meters).
This giraffe-sized pterosaur was one of the largest known flying animals of all time. It had a wingspan of up to 40 feet (over 12 meters) and thrived towards the end of the Cretaceous. Quetzalcoatlus was named after a feathered lizard Aztec deity. The nature of flight in Quetzalcoatlus and other giant azhdarchids was poorly understood until serious biomechanical studies were conducted in
What is going on in this picture? Here, we see a lot of Promicroceras, early Jurassic ammonites. Ammonites are an extinct group of marine invertebrate animals which lived from the Devonian until the Cretaceous. There’s lots of fossils of them throughout the world, mostly in Jurassic limestones – but few places can rival the awesomess of this pic.
Yes ladies and gents, we’re starting a new feature! I’m such a sucker for geology, that just one weekly feature doesn’t seem enough. I know, I know, I’ve kind of been lazy with the GeoPicture of the Week, but now, it’s settled: the GeoPicture is on Wednesday, and now we have Fossil Friday. Please, feel free to send us any fossil