|Tragophylloceras loscombi / Dorset Coast|
This lovely specimen is in the collection of the deeply awesome José Juárez Ruiz. He was amongst the many belemnite guards and ammonite shells of this lovely collection spot. Both beautiful in and of itself and highly prized for its fossil finds along the silty mudstone cliffs and fossiliferous boulders.
This fellow like to live in the offshore, deep subtidal shelves of our ancient seas around 189 to 183 million years ago.
He was a nektonic carnivore, an active swimmer cruising our ancient seas looking for tasty daily sustenance. Ammonites belong to the class of animals called mollusks. More specifically they are cephalopods and first appeared in the lower Devonian Period. Cephalopods were an abundant and diverse group during the Paleozoic Era.
Varying in size from millimeters to meters across, these elegant marine dwellers are prized as both works of art and index fossils helping us better understand and date strata. Cousins in the Class Cephalopoda, meaning "head-footed," ammonites are closely related to modern squid, cuttlefish and octopus with complex eye structures and advanced swimming abilities. They used these evolutionary benefits to their advantage, making them successful marine predators cruising our ancient oceans expertly capturing prey with their tentacles.