By Monks N., Palmer P.

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Additional resources for Ammonites. London: The Natiral History Museum. 159 p

Example text

Solid objects are not greatly affected by water pressure, since they are non-compressible, and rocks and stones on the bottom of the sea have the same shape and volume as they would on dry land. The same holds true for water, which is also virtually non-compressible, and I kg (15 lb) of sea water has the same volume at the bottom of the ocean as it does at the surface. Hollow objects are very different, as gases compress readily with increasing depth. Manufactured structures tend to be hollow and filled with air, so are very sensitive to water pressure.

All the soft body parts of the ammonite would have been enclosed by the mantle, and attached to the shell by the muscles. Since the posterior end of the animal must have formed each septum as the animal grew in width and moved forward into its enlarging shell, it must have taken on the shape of the septum before beginning to form it. It should not be forgotten that the mantle would also need to surround part of the siphuncle to produce the septa1 neck. Cha AMMONITE FORM AND FUNCTION .................................

TO some extent they have retained this advantage over invertebrates, although vertebrates, particularly bony fish, have become pre-eminent in modern oceans. There are four key elements to understanding cephalopod form and function - neutral buoyancy, orientation, jet propulsion, and streamlining - each of which places compromises on the shell's defensive strength. left: A specimen containing Asteroceras (large shells) and Promicroceras (small shells1 from near Yeovil. Somerset, U K Ultimately, cephalopods have had to trade-off increased mobility and swimming efficiency against the defensive properties of the shell.

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