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Ammonite fossil, SEM

Ammonite fossil, SEM

E442/0568

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Credit

STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Ammonite fossil, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). Ammonites were invertebrates and lived in the sea. They were molluscs that formed a spiral shell to protect their soft body. The lines on the shell mark chambers added as the ammonite grew. It lived in the newest and largest chamber. Shells ranged in width from under 1 centimetre to over 1 metre. Ammonites most closely resemble the present-day nautilus. They first appear in the fossil record around 400 million years ago and became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago. Magnification: x30 when printed 10cm wide.

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