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Snakestones

an ammonite fossil with a carved snake head
James St. John, Flickr

Here is an ammonite, an extinct, shelled cephalopod related to the octopus and squid, with a carved snake head at the end of the coil.  In the 600s, the town of Whitby in North Yorkshire, England believed ammonite fossils were snakes turned to stone, and artists often carved a snake head at the end of the shell. The town coat of arms includes three of these “snakestones.”

Tags: Fossils