This spectacular piece could make an impressive decorative or conversation piece . The sculpture is made from the famous Black Marble of Morocco and has been carved out and polished with genuine Orthoceras fossils embedded within it. The sculpture stand approximately 10 inches (25cm) tall .
These Orthoceras sea creatures are from the Devonian period of the Palaeozoic era. Orthoceras is a mollusc that lived more than 400 million years ago. They are related to our modern day squid, octopus, cuttlefish etc. All the modern relatives are predators and we can assume that Orthoceras was also a hunter of the Palaeozoic seas.
The name Orthoceras translates as “straight horn” due to their long and conical shell which varied in length from under a centimetre to over 4 metres.
The long shell is divided into segments and the Orthoceras lived in the last segment. As the body grew and the housing segment became too small, a dividing wall, called the septa, grew to separate the old “home chamber” from the new one. For such small creatures they were quite incredible. They had a tube (siphuncle) which ran through each chamber along the length of the shell. By filling or empty the tube the Orthoceras could rise and fall like a submarine. Forcing the water out rapidly would propel itself backward like being jet propelled.