Mineral Class: Cephalopoda
Crystal System: Fossil
Hardness: 3.5 - 4
Diaphaneity: Translucent to Slightly Opaque
Colors: Black, Gray, White, Brown
Source: Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Morocco, Russia, and USA
Orthoceras lived during the Ordovician epoch, over 400 million years ago, and are some of the earliest recognizable creatures in fossil records. This old school Nautiloid is an ancient ancestor of the modern squid. Orthoceras ranged in size from a few inches to well over six feet. They moved very similarly to squids. Paleontologists believe they could also crawl on the ocean floor, based on fossils and biomechanics. Most Orthoceras have been found in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Fossils are imprints of life forms where the soft tissue did not immediately decompose and instead was mineralized over many millions of years leaving a near perfect impression of the creature behind. Fossils of animals, insects, plants and various other biological organisms have been found throughout the world and from a number of different time periods allowing us to piece together a rough understanding of the environment and life forms that have evolved on earth over time. These amazing Orthoceras fossils are a symbol of preserved life and a reminder of old to new.