Fossil Orthoceras

Orthoceras was a “straight” cephalopod, an ancient ancestor of today's squid. They arose in the Late Cambrian and had eyes, jaws, and a sophisticated nervous system. They lived in saltwater seas and fed on plankton. The chambered skeleton of this creature makes for a beautiful design. These fossils came from Morocco, where they were mined, cut and polished, probably without electricity. As such, they have a unusual shape–I would call it “fusiform,” or fish-shaped. The backs do have a flat plane, but the sides, top, and bottom taper to a narrow edge. Their different, almost wild, feel is pleasing in its own way. My guess is that the various patterns denote different species. They are really fascinating. Please note that several have been drilled as pendants, and most are polished on all sides.

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