The beautiful spiral shells of these long-extinct marine invertebrates are among the most sought after and recognizable of fossils, yet little has been published about ammonites outside of geological journals. Neale Monks and Philip Palmer look at the latest ideas on ammonite biology and ecology to present this detailed picture of a once diverse and widespread group of animals.
The authors describe the evolution of ammonites and their relatives and explain how they created their shells and used them as flotation devices. All the major groups of ammonites are described and illustrated (as are many minor ones), and important material is included on anatomy, feeding, reproduction, and pathology. The 300-million-year existence of ammonites ended at around the same time that dinosaurs became extinct. Fortunately, ammonites were once so abundant that their fossilized shells can be readily found, and the authors provide a helpful guide to locating and collecting these unique fossils.
- An introduction to Ammonites
- Ammonite fossils
- Ammonite form and function
- Aspects of ammonite biology
- Ammonite taxonomy and classification
- The extinction of ammonites
- Collecting ammonites
- Further reading
Neale Monks is a palaeontologist at The Natural History Museum in London, and has written a number of papers on the evolution of beteromorph ammonites. Phil Palmer was a scientist at The Natural History Museum in London until his retirement, and has written extensively on fossil molluses and stratigraphy.