I have wanted an ammonite for many a long day now, and as you can see from this picture, I am now the proud owner of one. However, all is not as it seems ... I bought this one for a few pounds in Lyme Regis. It is a Promicroceras Planicosta and was found at Lower Lias, Lyme Regis ... it is approximately 190 million years old!
Ammonites are an extinct member of the molusc family, possessing an external shell, coiled in a flat spiral and divided into chambers. They appear in the Carboniferous period and mysteriously died at the end of the cretatious era
Geologists are able to use fossils to help them identify rocks of similar age. Rocks which are hundred of miles apart can be recognised as being of the same age due to the fossils that they contain. Ammonites are especially good for the purpose as many evolved and changed rapidly (in geological terms), producing different species with distinctive shell forms. The Jurassic has been divided into a series of zones based on the appearance and disappearance of different ammonites
Source: The Official Guide to the Jurassic Coast