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Ammonite Fossils, a Question?

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#1 Observer200

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 02:45 PM

Hello everyone, I have a question. 

Ammonites have extinct 65 million years ago with Dinosaurs. So how could people draw their appearance of it's head that comes off the shell? 

I've seen many sketches and all of them look exactly the same, so I feel like, the biologists kind of sure it looks like it so how they know it?


https://www.google.c...KyJ0cPRONIielM:


Thanks


Edited by Observer200, 10 August 2019 - 02:46 PM.


#2 gfamily

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 02:58 PM

An interesting question.
It seems most likely that ammonites were cephalopods (like squid) and the expectation is that they would have a similar morphology.

This book is referred to in the Wikipedia article about them:

https://books.google...epage&q&f=false
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#3 Kyphoron

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 02:59 PM

I think they are basing its appearance on the Nautilus which seems to be its distant relative that still exist today. 



#4 TOMDEY

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:14 PM

I'm skeptical, too. My best rendition is this, based on what I've seen in dreams. >>>    Tom

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#5 beggarly

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:34 PM

Those sketches are 'an artist's impression'. Soft tissues aren't normally preseved in fossils. The biologists can't be sure what they looked like.



#6 Observer200

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:42 PM

Like, I have a feeling Dinosaurs skin weren't that thick, hard as in the movies and pictures. I've read that paleontologists aren't sure of Dinosaurs exact color, they say might be grayish, green or anything.

 

Those sketches are 'an artist's impression'. Soft tissues aren't normally preseved in fossils. The biologists can't be sure what they looked like.



#7 Lola Bruce

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 06:04 PM

New insights as to color come along often. So far no set color many of the small meat eaters were quite colorful and had feathers. Some fossils have preserved the pigment signatures.

 

Bruce


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#8 TOMDEY

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 09:32 AM

I visualize tyrannosaurus rex as being glossy black, with yellow racing stripes.    Tom

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#9 Observer200

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 09:36 AM

Wow, never thought it would have stripes or anything, the Dinosaur we see, everywhere always has been plain green, that's a good idea to think like that

 

I visualize tyrannosaurus rex as being glossy black, with yellow racing stripes.    Tom



#10 llanitedave

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 09:58 AM

I think they are basing its appearance on the Nautilus which seems to be its distant relative that still exist today. 

 

The key, though, is that the chambered nautilus is a distant relative.  Ammonites would probably be more closely related to the squid and octopus, although not very close in that case either.  There have been a very, very few traces of soft parts preserved, from which we're pretty sure they had ink sacs as do modern cephalopods. They had a different structure for closing up their shells than nautiloids do.  They probably showed some sect-shu-al dimorphism.  Other than that, there's not much to go on.



#11 TOMDEY

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 11:26 AM

Wow, never thought it would have stripes or anything, the Dinosaur we see, everywhere always has been plain green, that's a good idea to think like that

Cool! I indeed like your basic question that you opened with. How do ~the experts~ know things... and to what extent are they just guessing (somewhat, significantly, entirely?!) Especially with modern computer-generated/doctored images --- they can render anything that strikes their fancy... and more and more often don't indicate that it is just a wishful simulation. Then the public gets ahold of it and takes it as gospel --- even devout atheists taking everything they see on the web or TV as --- gospel! Have you ever noticed how political activists satisfy all the common traits of --- faithful, unquestioning, obedient, fervent, followers?    Tom


Edited by TOMDEY, 11 August 2019 - 11:27 AM.


#12 EJN

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 01:13 PM

I have no idea what Ammonites look like, but I do know what Mennonites look like.



#13 gfamily

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 01:57 PM

Cool! I indeed like your basic question that you opened with. How do ~the experts~ know things... and to what extent are they just guessing (somewhat, significantly, entirely?!) Especially with modern computer-generated/doctored images --- they can render anything that strikes their fancy... and more and more often don't indicate that it is just a wishful simulation. Then the public gets ahold of it and takes it as gospel --- even devout atheists taking everything they see on the web or TV as --- gospel! Tom


But how do you know which is 'a wishful simulation', and which based on reasonable interpretation of the evidence?

For example, I understand that residues/breakdown products of melanin have been detected at some fossil sites, and since evolution tends to select out production of unnecessary bio molecules, it suggests that colouration was selected for.
The exact colouration may not be exact, but scientists will stress what they have evidence for, even if they don't have precise details.

It may be that the melanin (or whatever) was there for some other reason, but ignoring its presence would be wrong.

What does annoy me is the way that 'we' think we can interpret the spiritual and mystical life of neolithic people on the basis of scratches on bone and wall paintings.

Edited by gfamily, 11 August 2019 - 01:59 PM.


#14 llanitedave

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 02:31 PM

Cool! I indeed like your basic question that you opened with. How do ~the experts~ know things... and to what extent are they just guessing (somewhat, significantly, entirely?!) Especially with modern computer-generated/doctored images --- they can render anything that strikes their fancy... and more and more often don't indicate that it is just a wishful simulation. Then the public gets ahold of it and takes it as gospel --- even devout atheists taking everything they see on the web or TV as --- gospel! Have you ever noticed how political activists satisfy all the common traits of --- faithful, unquestioning, obedient, fervent, followers?    Tom

If you actually read the papers, and not just the Gee Whiz news feeds, you'll see the details, the reasoning behind the conclusions, the caveats, and the cautions.  But, the problem is, you don't read the papers, you take some untrained aggregator's interpretation, and then you blame the scientists for that misinterpretation.

 

True, there are some bad papers out there, but the great majority of the time it's the snarky ones that are getting -- and disseminating -- the distorted picture.



#15 Observer200

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 02:58 PM

Is there a way to preserve a soft tissue of an very old animal like ammonite or dinosaur? Is it only if they are inside of an amber or is there other ways that you know?

 

If you actually read the papers, and not just the Gee Whiz news feeds, you'll see the details, the reasoning behind the conclusions, the caveats, and the cautions.  But, the problem is, you don't read the papers, you take some untrained aggregator's interpretation, and then you blame the scientists for that misinterpretation.

 

True, there are some bad papers out there, but the great majority of the time it's the snarky ones that are getting -- and disseminating -- the distorted picture.



#16 TOMDEY

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 04:45 PM

If you actually read the papers, and not just the Gee Whiz news feeds, you'll see the details, the reasoning behind the conclusions, the caveats, and the cautions.  But, the problem is, you don't read the papers, you take some untrained aggregator's interpretation, and then you blame the scientists for that misinterpretation.

 

True, there are some bad papers out there, but the great majority of the time it's the snarky ones that are getting -- and disseminating -- the distorted picture.

Good; you make a somewhat reasonable point! Thing is... I've been among scientists my whole life, and realize there is nothing more distorted than --- a scientist (doctor, lawyer, politician, law-enforcer, manufacturer, hunter, clergy...)  with a personal agenda! It l permeates every human endeavor; not a one of us is immune!

 

That is to say... scientists are people, too! Subject to the same foibles as anyone else. And it is easy to let their predilections guide their research... all the way to the pre-ordained conclusions!

 

But yeah, you make a good point. I just don't have time to read all the research on each and every nook and cranny of science and pseudo-science. Therefore, I insist that Rex had yellow racing stripes, and that Glucosamine Chondroitin cures arthritis. That's my story, and I'm stickin' by it!    Tom... Tech Fellow Tom



#17 gfamily

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 05:11 PM

Actually, I don't know what you do, but scientists are constrained in what they publish by the requirement to pass peer review.
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#18 TOMDEY

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 08:12 PM

Actually, I don't know what you do, but scientists are constrained in what they publish by the requirement to pass peer review.

Yeah, that's a very good point; been there, done that... on both sides of the fence. But - you should see some of the bunko that had breezed right by reviewers! And, truth be known... most of the journals, agencies, etc. are usually beggin/cryin for someone/anyone to volunteer a stint as a reviewer. Mostly schoolmarmish control-freaks take them up on it.

 

DISCLAIMER: To my friends who have been on standards committees, review boards, admissions/acceptance councils with me. I’m not talking about us, of course… only the others!]    Tom



#19 llanitedave

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 12:28 AM

Good; you make a somewhat reasonable point! Thing is... I've been among scientists my whole life, and realize there is nothing more distorted than --- a scientist (doctor, lawyer, politician, law-enforcer, manufacturer, hunter, clergy...)  with a personal agenda! It l permeates every human endeavor; not a one of us is immune!

 

That is to say... scientists are people, too! Subject to the same foibles as anyone else. And it is easy to let their predilections guide their research... all the way to the pre-ordained conclusions!

 

But yeah, you make a good point. I just don't have time to read all the research on each and every nook and cranny of science and pseudo-science. Therefore, I insist that Rex had yellow racing stripes, and that Glucosamine Chondroitin cures arthritis. That's my story, and I'm stickin' by it!    Tom... Tech Fellow Tom

Yes, it's true that scientists have agendas.  Scientists have egos, scientists have biases, some scientists have integrity issues.

 

However, scientists are not science.  The entire process of science, the demand for repeatability, for openness, for accessible citations, for falsifiability and refutations, is designed to overcome the limitations of individual scientists and to ensure that the progression of knowledge is not blocked by those individuals.

 

It's a slow, painstaking, halting, inefficient, messy process, and when you see it up close it IS a lot like making sausage.  But those popular articles that people like to point at as justification for their opinion that "science gets it wrong" is the equivalent of mistaking a meat grinder for sausage.


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#20 llanitedave

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 12:44 AM

Is there a way to preserve a soft tissue of an very old animal like ammonite or dinosaur? Is it only if they are inside of an amber or is there other ways that you know?

 

 

Unfortunately, you're not going to find an ammonite in amber.  With the exception of a single unique case, (and here the shell was already eroded and the organic content already decayed before being incorporated), the environments are simply too different.

 

There are other exceptional cases in which small amounts of degraded soft tissue have been recovered from dinosaurs, or organic films recording some soft-tissue details for certain creatures, but again, these are very rare.

 

It's conceivable that traces of ammonite soft tissues might be discovered at some future site, it would be an exciting find.  The problem is that the ammonite's anatomy works against that kind of thing happening.  Since the creature is enclosed in a robust shell, the kinds of geologic events that would rapidly bury creatures, block oxygen exposure, and prevent them from decaying won't affect the inside of the shell so much.  Instead of being immediately flattened and preserved, the ammonite in its shell will stay intact, encased, and able to rot away gradually long before the fossilization process gets under way.



#21 DaveC2042

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 04:23 PM

Yes, it's true that scientists have agendas. Scientists have egos, scientists have biases, some scientists have integrity issues.

However, scientists are not science. The entire process of science, the demand for repeatability, for openness, for accessible citations, for falsifiability and refutations, is designed to overcome the limitations of individual scientists and to ensure that the progression of knowledge is not blocked by those individuals.

It's a slow, painstaking, halting, inefficient, messy process, and when you see it up close it IS a lot like making sausage. But those popular articles that people like to point at as justification for their opinion that "science gets it wrong" is the equivalent of mistaking a meat grinder for sausage.


As I've observed round here before, if science is fundamentally flawed, you have enormous trouble explaining the outstanding success of technology.
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#22 llanitedave

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 05:25 PM

As I've observed round here before, if science is fundamentally flawed, you have enormous trouble explaining the outstanding success of technology.

Too many people completely miss that connection, therefore we have Flat Earthers, Creationists, and Climate Deniers on social media, without a clue as to how they can actually communicate that way.  Heaven forbid they use GPS!

 

We don't need science, when we have magic! 


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#23 Lard Greystoke

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 05:32 PM

As far as I can tell no one has answered the original question, which I take to be: why do all depictions of ammonites look alike when they cannot be based on physical evidence?

 

I am neither a paleontologist nor biologist but here is my best shot:

 

The best justification is the concept of bracketing.  If the original organization is extinct comparisons are made to the nearest groups with a common ancestor. If all the groups which bracket the extinct group share a trait, it can be inferred that the extinct group shared them also.

 

In this case ammonites are assumed to share a common ancestor with squid, nautiloids, octopuses, etc.  Since all these groups share a head surrounded by feet (hence the name Cephalopod) it is assumed that their common ancestor also had this trait.  Since ammonites descended from the common ancestor it is assumed they inherited this trait as well.

 

So the representation is speculation, but it makes far more sense than giving it an elephant's trunk or a fly's antennae.


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#24 Observer200

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 01:56 PM

And how about Jane Doe? 
https://www.youtube....h?v=ABsFObTmIKc

How do they know what their lips, eyes, nose look like by only having their skull taken from grave, and place the fillings on the skull? Because when they do a Jane Doe to someone, they look exactly the same? Or did I get Jane doe Project wrong? 

 

As far as I can tell no one has answered the original question, which I take to be: why do all depictions of ammonites look alike when they cannot be based on physical evidence?

 

I am neither a paleontologist nor biologist but here is my best shot:

 

The best justification is the concept of bracketing.  If the original organization is extinct comparisons are made to the nearest groups with a common ancestor. If all the groups which bracket the extinct group share a trait, it can be inferred that the extinct group shared them also.

 

In this case ammonites are assumed to share a common ancestor with squid, nautiloids, octopuses, etc.  Since all these groups share a head surrounded by feet (hence the name Cephalopod) it is assumed that their common ancestor also had this trait.  Since ammonites descended from the common ancestor it is assumed they inherited this trait as well.

 

So the representation is speculation, but it makes far more sense than giving it an elephant's trunk or a fly's antennae.



#25 llanitedave

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 03:04 PM

And how about Jane Doe? 
https://www.youtube....h?v=ABsFObTmIKc

How do they know what their lips, eyes, nose look like by only having their skull taken from grave, and place the fillings on the skull? Because when they do a Jane Doe to someone, they look exactly the same? Or did I get Jane doe Project wrong? 

 

How exact do you need it to be?




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