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These dishes come from the Sahara Desert in Morocco that was a seafloor 450 million years ago. This very hard limestone was laid down over millions of years and is particularly rich in ammonites and Orthoceras. Tremendous labor was required to cut these out of solid rock, grind them to shape and polish them to a glossy finish. Each dish is 4.7" wide and features a repositioned goniatite at the "top" of each one. The case weighs about 10 pounds.
Goniatites possessed a shell, which is divided internally into chambers filled with gas for buoyancy. An open chamber at the front of the shell provided living space for the animal. The general morphology and habit of goniatites was probably similar to that of their later relatives the ammonites, being free swimming and possessing a head with two well developed eyes and arms.