Wild Safari Ammonite Replica Reviewed
Safari Ltd, based in Florida have created a detailed replica that represents a typical member of that diverse and now very much extinct group of marine creatures – the Ammonites.
The fossils of the chambered, coiled shells of Ammonites are some of the most important fossils known to invertebrate palaeontologists. Such is the abundance and diversity of these marine creatures that their fossil remains have been used by scientists to date rock formations relative to each other. As a result, many Ammonites are regarded as “zonal fossils” by geologists and other scientists.
The Ammonites belong to a group of molluscs called the Cephalopods. There are a number of different types of Cephalopod alive today, all related to the Ammonites. Extant Cephalopods include octopi, squid, nautiloids and the Ammonites’ closest living relative the cuttlefish.
Ideal Model for Amateur Fossil Collectors
These fossils are often the first type of fossil collected by an amateur fossil hunter. Many school science displays will have fossils in them and these are likely to represent some members of the Ammonoidea amongst them. The permineralised shells of these sea creatures can be found worldwide, now thanks to this Wild Safari Dinos replica you can actually see what scientists think Ammonites looked like.
The creature living inside that chambered, coiled shell had ten tentacles, two of which were much longer than the others. These tentacles were clustered around a central mouth. The eyes depicted in this replica are quite big, it is reminiscent of the sort of eyes seen in living Cephalopods such as squid. The hypernome, that tube-like structure that squirted jets of water like a siphon that propelled this creature can be clearly seen on the underside of the model.
Colourful, Painted Marine Creature
The hypernome, the tentacles and those elements of the body visible outside of the shell have been painted a striking orange colour. The shell itself is painted a bronze/brown hue. The whorls of the shell can be easily made out. The design team at Safari Ltd have obviously taken the time to study different Ammonite fossils in order to get their design as accurate as possible. The shell almost has a metallic lustre and running along the shallow keel, there are a series of prominent ribs and bumps. Many genera of Ammonites are identified by the bumps and ribs that can be seen, still preserved on the remains of their spiral-shaped shells.
A Handy Ammonite Replica
This model will prove helpful to teachers as they try to discuss fossils, rocks and extinction with their students. It will also prove a useful addition to the glass cases of fossil collectors who can now provide an illustration of what a living Ammonite is believed to have looked like next to their fossils. As with all the Safari Ltd prehistoric animal models, this figure has been well designed, beautifully painted and it is a welcome addition to this company’s model range.