Opalescent Cleoniceras fossil ammonite excavated in the Mahajanga jungle of Madagascar. The exotic tropical island lying off the coast of S. E. Africa, a jewel in the Indian Ocean. Madagascan having the most unique flora and fauna is also blessed with the unique fossil deposits, some of the finest and most colourful fossils in the world today. Richly detailed minerals, mainly quartz-based developed in the earth's layers creating unique depositions, some outcrop on the surface, many are mined and these have in recent years have been harvested for collectors across the globe.
The pearlescent Cleoniceras ammonite has been conserved from a fossil 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), towards the central whorl, this, [the fossil phragmacone (molluscs shell)] known as the area of the umbilicus. Thus revealing the fine Cleoniceras phragmacone scientifically and aesthetically. The ammonite displays the most attractive array of vivid pearlescent, a rainbow sequence of colours throughout the nacre (shell shimmer) of the phragmacone flashing the colour bands of bright blues, glaucous greens with strikingly vivid highlights of scarlet reds, 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.
Off the Great Barrier Reef at depths of between 200 to 400 meters sightings of the Nautilus Pompilius have been made, illustrating the enormous pressures some Cephalopods can attain. The Ammonites decline is dated around 74 million years ago, pre the great mass extinction, the KT event of around 65 million years.
Ammonites are important index fossils, it is possible to link the sediment layer in which they are found to specific geological time periods. In the early stages of palaeontology and geology this was the reverse the layer donated the age and fossil ammonites found were then associated with that date, however so profuse were the ammonites that palaeontologists began to use ammonites as measures of time of a particular region and strata they were discovered within.
Genus: Cleoniceras ammonite. Hoplitidae.
Age: Albian 100 to 113 m.y.a., Cretaceous period 135 to 65 m.y.a
Origin: N.E. Madagascar. E.Africa, South Indian Ocean
Cleoniceras ammonite measurements.
Width: 10.4 cm
Depth: 2.9 cm
Approximate weight: 0,279 g