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Ammonites and belemnites

Ammonites and belemnites

C042/4246

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Credit

SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Ammonites and belemnites, typical Mesozoic marine fauna. Ammonites (coiled) were marine invertebrate molluscs that formed a spiral chambered shell, with the ammonite living in the newest and largest chamber. Shells ranged in width from under 1 centimetre to over 1 metre. Ammonites 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. Belemnites (one at centre) were cephalopods, the group of animals that includes squid. They appeared during the Carboniferous (around 350 million years ago), and went extinct towards the end of the Cretaceous (65 million years ago).

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