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Found 1 result

  1. Categorise this as 'just for fun', and don't get your hopes up for much fun. I've been doing some '[word wrongly auto-censored] packet' calculations (this is British for writing on the back of a cigarette packet, not a slur) about how many ammonite fossils may be extant on the earth. I'm not a mathematician. I'm the opposite of a mathematician, whatever that is. But I started my calculations based upon a single rock formation which I know well, to see if I could use that to work from. If we look at the Toarcian Beacon Limestone formation in the UK - which spans at least twenty miles in a single direction and is around five metres thick (significantly thinner at the coastal end, I think). Ammonites are abundant in this rock, with many layers being packed full of them. In a single square foot of material, you will sometimes find dozens of ammonites. In a single square-foot section vertically through the entire formation, I'd say that you'd easily find 100 ammonites. That's probably an underestimate. So on that basis, if we assume a total of thirty square miles for this formation, we have 836,352,000 square feet. Assume 100 ammonites per square foot (all the way down through the formation), that's 83,635,200,000, or eighty-three billion, six hundred and thirty-five million, two hundred thousand ammonites preserved. Now, that's got to be way out. For a start, the formation varies in different locations, both in thickness and number of ammonites present. It is probably not present at all in many areas (though there are quite a few outcrops). Has anyone ever attempted to make an rough estimate at how many ammonites may be preserved in the earth? It's interesting to think; the Beacon Limestone formation is five metres thick, and represents about eight million years of sedimentary deposition. Barely any of the ammonites that lived during that time, in this area, are preserved in this formation. Makes you wonder how many ammonites must have swam in the oceans over all those millions of years. The Beacon Limestone
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