Four colors screen printed on dark gray 100% cotton American Apparel shirt. Features illustration from recent publication from marine biologist, Helen Scales, "Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells".

 

Sizes Large and above/larger are a slightly different version than shown with a creme ink for the shell and a muted orange for the tentacles. We'll try to update the photo as soon as we can. Any size smaller than Large will be like the images shown. Thank you!

Giant Ammonite

$30.00Price
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  • Sixty five million years ago, during the Cretaceous Period, the tentacular kings of the seas were the Giant Ammonites of the genus, Parapuzosia; massive mollusks who were the evolutionary grandfathers of today's giant squids and octopuses. The biggest difference between them and most of today's living cephalopods, though, was the presence of a massive, hard, whorled shell, similar in shape to the shells we see made by both terrestrial and aquatic snails today.

    But imagine a snail shell six feet across, or even larger! The largest known species of ammonites is the Parapuzosia seppenradensis, which roamed the seas of the late Cretaceous. The biggest fossil shell ever found was from Germany and measured 5.9 ft across! Wilder still is the fact that the shell was incomplete and would have been larger if fully intact, so animals with armored homes larger than six feet were very much possible. This armored giant squid would have traveled in open water, using a jet type propulsion - similar to today's cephalopods - to swim either in a backwards motion, or up and down in the water column. Though speed most likely wasn't his biggest asset, this beast was certainly a carnivore capable of catching substantial prey, ranging from other ammonites, large fish, occasionally smaller sharks, and even some marine reptiles.

    Though he was a formidable predator, the Parapuzosia seppenradnesis would have been on the menu for many Cretaceous predators even larger than him, like massive marine reptiles in the Mosasaur and Plesiosaur families, and the shell crushing behemoth, Ptychodus, a huge shark whose strange, grinding flat teeth would have made short work of even the biggest Parapuzosia shell.