An unusual example of opalescence and ammolite together in one specimen ammonite, verso a patch of deep red ammolite iridescence over the pearlescent opalescence creates a wonderful fiery element to this finely formed Cretaceous period fossil umbilicus from prehistoric Madagascar.
The Cleoniceras ammonite conserved from the fossil bedding layer in Madagascar and prepared in the laboratory in the united kingdom with the aid of micro pneumatic (compressed air) equipment. The conservation removed the surrounding matrix (fossil bedrock), to the central whorl, this is the phragmacone (shell) known as the area of the umbilicus. Thus revealing the fine Cleoniceras phragmacone scientifically and aesthetically. The ammonite displays a most attractive array of the vivid opalescent rainbow sequence of colours throughout the nacre of the phragmacone flashing the colour bands of bright blues, glaucous greens with strikingly vivid highlights of scarlet red, all created by the refraction of light.
Rare colours found in specimens are maize yellow, amber, blue, glaucous, cerulean, purple, lavender, scarlet red, coral pink and lavender pink. Gaining the best Cleoniceras specimen for your collection, friend or loved one, take a note of the aesthetics, regarding symmetrical, look for flaws on the phragmacones surface, usually these will develop as chips and in some instances fillers and artificial epoxy resin replace shell which is then coloured, larger specimens can be more prone to these sorts of repairs, sometimes badly prepared or of a very low grade.
Check the colouration, is it vibrant, does it reflect in low light. One needs to see consistency when looking to buy online and make sure the photographer has caught true reflections of light using standard white lights. In our photography, no flash is used therefore one can gain a true likeness of how the ammonite shell and iridescence displays and will display in your collection. We often use condition reports in our descriptions which detail any flaws. If no condition report is listed this usually relates to the completeness and the condition is natural and excellent.
Ammonites are part of the Ammonitida of marine invertebrates. With large eyes and remarkable vision, they could easily hunt prey at a depth where little or no light penetrates the deeper ocean. The Cephalopod would attain its prey using long tentacles. Prey such as other crustaceans and fish, much like the modern day Nautilus Pompilius which can be found in the Pacific and Indian oceans.
A few years ago off the Great Barrier Reef at depths between 200 to 400 meters, sightings of the Nautilus Pompilius were made, showing the pressures these Cephalopods can attain. The Ammonites extinction is dated around 74 million years, pre the great mass extinction of around 65 million years. Ammonites are important index fossils, it is often possible to link the sediment layer in which they are found to specific geological time periods. The largest ammonite to date is around 2.5 meters in diameter from Germany.