Like their modern relative the chambered nautilus, Nautiloids had a soft body with tentacles that emerged from a hollow shell filled with gas for buoyancy. Unlike the Nautilus, which is admired for the beauty of its spiral shell, the Nautiloid shell came in a variety of shapes. Orthoceras (which translates as “straight horn”) Nautiloids had long, cone shaped shells, and must have swum like torpedoes through ancient seas. These distinctive black and white specimens come from Morocco, and are often quarried in slabs teeming with fossil Orthoceras shells. The originally hollow chambers of the shell have filled in with white calcite crystals, and in some pieces the siphuncle, a tube that ran through all the chambers of the shell, is visible.
These specific specimens are from the Ordovician Period and are approximately 465 Million Years Old. Their fossilized shells are common and are used as decorative stone all over the world.
Fossil A: Measures 7" in length. Has been repaired by a professional, so does have an imperfection.
Fossil B: Features a full-length orthoceras. Measures 8" in length.
Fossil C: Features two orthoceras. Measures 8.25" in length.
Fossil D: Features three orthoceras. Measures 7.75" in length. Stunning specimen!