The Orthoceras is a single genus within the
cephalapods, a class of
The orthoceras is characterized by a nearly straight conical shell which superficially resembles those of
Baculites a kind of ammonite.
In fact, they so closely resemble Baculites that the two designations are often used interchangeably by less educated fossil
Sometimes Orthocerans formed massive
death assemblages and could even be rock forming.
To picture what
like in life, you would have to imagine the world they lived in.
Picturing an Orthoceras in today's world alongside contemporary organisms would
be even more absurd than a dinosaur wandering around New York's Central park!
As with Ammonites, the closest living realtive is the
Orthoceran fossils are so abundant
that they are often made into Jewelry
and a variety of other products!
Though representing only a single genus, orhocerans are quite common as fossils, this one came from an
$8 fossil kit.
These mesurements were made using Motic Images, a program that comes with many
digital microscope cameras.