[Image] The Largest Ammonite In the World

Phil

Colossal Squid
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If you thought ammonites were small creatures that would fit into the palm of your hand, have a look at this monster:

Giant ammonite

This is a specimen of Parapuzosia seppenradensis, which has a diameter of 8 feet, 6 inches, weighs 3.5 tonnes and was found in rocks about 78 million years old at Seppenrade near Munster, Germany. It was discovered in 1895 by Prof Hermann Landois and is currently on display at the Munster Natural History Museum (Westfälischen Landesmuseum für Naturkunde). A cast is on display at the Museum of Natural History in LA.

This is the largest ammonite ever discovered to date. And to think Steve thought the Colossal Squid was large! Scary stuff.... :D
 

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tonmo

Titanites
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#2
Ah, I love that... that's huge. Imagine that thing swimming around with its big ol' shell and all that in ancient waters. I love that! Thanks for posting.
 

Phil

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I wonder if the thing was fully grown? The outermost chambers seem to be somewhat worn away which would make maturity a difficult thing to determine. Perhaps a fully mature specimen was even larger????

My head has not yet exploded, Steve. How are you doing?
 

Steve O'Shea

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.... and if the shell was actually internalised, it'd be bigger than the Earth, moon, Solar System and Universe combined!!!!

There's a big one on display at NZ's national museum (they refer to the place as 'Te Papa'); we get 'em big down here too, although I've never seen anything quite like this.

I'm a box of birds Phil; how're you? I'm getting geared up to go fossil hunting in a couple of weeks; looking forward to that, and to getting out of the office. Re your head - you'll probably wake up tomorrow morn without it .... time differences and all.
 

Phil

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Steve O'Shea said:
There's a big one on display at NZ's national museum (they refer to the place as 'Te Papa'); we get 'em big down here too, although I've never seen anything quite like this.
Here are two images of the Te Papa specimen which is incorrectly billed as the 'largest ammonite in the world', though it is still an awesome specimen. It is a 145 million year old Jurassic specimen of Lytoceras taharoaense, is 1.42m in diameter and was found near Kawhia Harbour.

The Lytoceratina were a major suborder of ammonites, and were one of the most persistant and widespread groups. They are known from the early Jurassic to the end of the Cretaceous and really changed very little throughout this immense period of time. They had circular whorl sections and were poorly streamlined so it is theorised that they were probably poor swimmers. Believed to be open water or oceanic ammonites, it is thought that may have been deeper water dwellers than most other ammonites as they tended to have closely packed septa indicating the shell may have been able to resist greater pressure. The uncoiled heteromorph ammonites are believed to have stemmed from this group in the late Jurassic.

My head was pretty much where I left it last night, Steve. Not finding a blood-soaked stump on my shoulders this morning came as quite a relief. Good luck with your fossil hunt!
 

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Steve O'Shea

Colossal Squid
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Phil, looks like we need an industrial supply of Plaster of Paris, tissue paper and bandages to piece poor Kevin back together.

That'll learn you Kevin; never read the small print!
 

spartacus

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I thought he was growing his whiskers & showing off the Utah tiger gene.
grrrrrrrr Kevin !
oh & for a truly phenomenal Kimmeridgian erratic from the Boulder clay of sunny Suffolk - watch this space !! :shock:
 

Architeuthoceras

Architeuthis
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Steve O'Shea said:
Phil, looks like we need an industrial supply of Plaster of Paris, tissue paper and bandages to piece poor Kevin back together.

That'll learn you Kevin; never read the small print!
Don't forget an old Pinyon branch or two for support.

I've learned my lesson: always read the fine print before you read the small print!

Spartacus, will you need the Kiboko to help carry it? He worked wonders putting me together again! :wink:
 

spartacus

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#16
all offers of assistance are always gratefully received Kevin, but in this instance, not entirely necessary unless someone has a spare electron scanning microscope for a little prepping ! :oops:
 

Steve O'Shea

Colossal Squid
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#17
... that's more akin to Titanominutus, Spartacus B!

Am off diving this weekend with Kat, first time in ~ 10 years I've got wet (terribly long, sad story) .... all rather exciting; wonder if we'll find a live ammonite ....
 

Phil

Colossal Squid
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#18
What's the score with your Megatitanoceras imperator, Spartacus? Nicely prepped, by the way.

Ammonites in the moonlight? Good luck Steve! You will get a Nobel Prize someday....providing the cephs don't get you first.
 

spartacus

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oh how you talk in riddles leaving me feel more stupid than I already am :oops:

Uncle Steve, I'll admit it ain't the biggest but it was pitch dark, as the good lady wouldn't leave 'til she'd fragged every last lump of available boulder clay, so for an ol' timer like me it was quite a feat of human endurance akin to X-ray vision or Action Man's "Eagle eyes"

Phil, it just jumped out & went straight for the throat. All it got was a light tickle with a soft paintbrush, then I went & cleaned the ammonite ! boom boom

For your cheek, I want an ID - the curly not the fuse.
 

Phil

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#20
Here is the largest ammonite ever found in Canada. It measures 1.5m across:

From Past Lives: The Chronicles of Canadian Paleontology:

In July 1947 geologist Chuck Newmarch and a small field crew working for the British Columbia Geological Survey were busy mapping coal seams in the shales, siltstones and sandstones exposed above Coal Creek in the Rocky Mountains just east of Fernie in the south-east corner of British Columbia. Fossils are few and far between in these rocks and it was not clear which part of these coal measures is Jurassic and which Cretaceous. So, Newmarch was astonished when [??a student reported a fossil truck tire??] , on reaching a massive sandstone bed, he literally stepped into a giant ribbed depression the size of a tractor tire. He was no paleontologist, but when he saw the coiled nature of the depression he realized that he was looking at the imprint of an ammonite, but one of truly heroic proportions. The fossil measured almost 1.5 metres across -- by far, the biggest complete ammonite ever found in Canada.

After the field season Newmarch told the Geological Survey of Canada of his discovery and, a few years later, Hans Frebold of that organization became the first of a succession of Canadian Jurassic paleontologists to hike up to the giant. Frebold later described the ammonite and gave it a name -- Titanites occidentalis but, because of its size, locality, and the nature of preservation, he was unable to follow through with one of the requirements when any new species is named -- that is, the type specimen, or holotype, must be deposited in a museum. The specimen could not be removed from the sandstone creek bottom, but over the years, different latex molds have been made -- each mold made of this ammonite requires about 20 liters of liquid latex.

The generic name Titanites was coined by the English paleontologist S.S. Buckman for large ammonites found in Jurassic rocks of Dorset. In the nineteenth century these ammonites were so common in the vicinity of Portland that they were used to edge garden beds. The "Portland giants", however, have diameters less than half that of the Fernie behemoth. Because he thought they must belong to the same group, Frebold concluded that the English and Canadian ammonites were the same age, that is latest Jurassic -- a time interval with few diagnostic ammonites in western Canada.

The name might fit, but the identification of the Fernie giant as Titanites is probably wrong. Although it is poorly preserved, fine ribbing can be seen on the first-formed coils, but this is abruptly replaced by coarse ribbing on the last coil. Such difference in ribbing is unknown in Titanites from Dorset. Titanites has been denigrated as a "garbage can genus" of vaguely similar ammonites that have little in common, aside from their size. Canadian paleontologists, however, continue to use the name Titanites (sprinkled liberally with quotation or question marks) for the Fernie giant simply because there is, at present, no alternative.
 

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