Sacred Ammonites – The Shaligram Stones of Nepal

Guest Author: James Ormiston
Palaeontology MSci Graduate / Palaeoartist

Ammonites are wonderful things. Staring into their ribbed spirals can be a hypnotic experience. A shape that is vaguely familiar…yet also alien and ancient. Geometrically satisfying, chronologically dizzying. Although being very common, it’s this slight “otherness” which all but guarantees that if you collect fossils, even only a little, you probably have an ammonite in your collection. They have become a poster child for fossils worldwide.

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Current Palaeo – The Spookiest Thing About Bats

A bat silhouette means one of two things is near: Halloween or a crazed masked vigilante.

With Halloween only two days away, I thought we should turn our attentions to an animal which has become synonymous with the holiday. The word ‘Halloween’ conjures up a series of distinctive shapes in our minds; a pumpkin, a ghost, the far too early Christmas tree in the shops, and the silhouette of a flying bat. But how long could it have been this way? Would a bat have been a symbol of Halloween in the Mesozoic (if dinosaurs had been capable of celebrating this autumnal festival or been dextrous enough to craft decorations to mark it)?

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