Friday, January 15, 2010

Ammonites

This week, I received a package from Amorette- a beautifully embroidered bird reminiscent of Hungarian folktales, a delightful stack of letters, an ammonite, and some tea-bags which made everything smell wonderfully spicy and homy and old-fashioned.

This post is about the ammonite, though. An extinct subclass of cephalopods of the Devonian era resembling nautiloids, their coiled shells are commonly found fossilized today. Like nautiloids, their shells are comprised of a series of camerae, airtight chambers separated by walls called septa; these ensured buouyancy for the tentacled creature, which lived in the outermost chamber of the phragmocone. The septa are preserved as intricate hoarfrost tracings on the shell's surface, like delicate oak leaves or ferns in appearance.



The septa markings are easier to see in this picture which Rette took of a larger specimen:



Perhaps the most amazing thing about it to me is simply that God crafted it with such precision and care that even after the creature died, what remained of it took on a new beauty and continues to give glory to its Creator- after four hundred million years.

If a common tentacled marine organism was special enough to be fashioned so fearfully and wonderfully, how much more must God care about us?

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