3.7" Fossil Baculites In Concretion - South Dakota

This is a 3.7" long, iridescent baculites fossil from the Pierra Shale of South Dakota.

Baculites ("walking stick rock") is an extinct cephalopod genus with a nearly straight shell, included in the heteromorph ammonites. The genus, which lived worldwide throughout most of the Late Cretaceous.

As with other ammonites, the shell consisted of a series of camerae, or chambers, that were connected to the animal by a narrow tube called a siphuncle by which gas content and thereby buoyancy could be regulated in the same manner as Nautilus does today.

From shell isotope studies, it is thought that Baculites inhabited the middle part of the water column, not too close to either the bottom or surface of the ocean.

Baculites fossils are very brittle and almost always break. They are most commonly found broken in half or several pieces, usually along suture lines. Individual chambers found this way are sometimes referred to as "stone buffaloes" (due to their shapes), though the Native-American attribution typically given as part of the story behind the name is likely apocryphal.
Baculites sp.
Wasta, South Dakota
Pierra Shale
3.7" long, Concretion 7x4.3"
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