Sunday, 9 August 2020


This sweet beauty with lovely oil in water colouring is a Hoploscaphites nebrascensis (Owen, 1852) macroconch. This is the female form of the ammonite, her larger body perfect for egg production by the smaller males, or microconchs of the species.

Hoploscaphites nebrascensis is an upper Maastrichtian species and index fossil. It marks the top of ammonite zonation for the Western Interior. 

This species has been recorded from Fox Hills Formation in North and South Dakota as well as the Pierre Shale in southeastern South Dakota and northeastern Nebraska.

It is unknown from Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado due to the deposition of coeval terrestrial units. 

It has possibly been recorded in glacial deposits in Saskatchewan and northern North Dakota, but so far this is just hearsay.

Outside the Western Interior, this species has been found in Maryland and possibly Texas in the Discoscaphites Conrad zone. This lovely one is in the collection of the deeply awesome (and enviable) José Juárez Ruiz. A big thank you to Joshua Slattery for his insights on the distribution of this species.