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Ammonites were named after the Egyptian god Ammon, who was often pictured as a man with a rams head. Since this small sea animal looked like a coiled rams horn, what better name could there be? Ammonites first appeared about 375 million years ago and were very common for about 200 million years. At that point they became extinct. These creatures moved about in the water in a way somewhat related to the way a jet plane moves about in the air. The ammonite squirted water through a tube in one direction, thus moving itself in the opposite direction. Equipped with octopus -like arms they probably fed on the small sea animals that were an easy catch. Other features of the ammonite were its two large eyes and sharp beak. Although ammonites usually measured only a few inches across, some have been measured that measure six feet across. Related to the squid and octopus, its closest living relative is the pearly nautilus.

Via Alaska Pebble Patter, 3/05, via West Seattle Petroglyph 4/05.