Ammonites - myths and legends

Fossils in general, an ammonites in particular, during centuries inspired human imagination. With their origin, between sky, ground and sea, with their utility and their capacities, the human being sought an explanation, for its beliefs...

Do you know other "stories" about the ammonites? Why not communicate them to us? We would be delighted by publishing them on this page.


because the shell of this cephalopod resembles the ramhorns of the Egyptian (Greek) God Ammon.

The legend of holy Hilda

"How of thousand snakes each one was changed ino a coil of stone when holy Hilda prayed."

Sir Walter Scott (1808) - Marmion

... Once upon the time, there were an abbess named Hilda. She lived in the Middle Ages at Whitby, Yorkshire U.K. To venerate God, Saint Hilda decided building a chapel, but the site was infested with snakes. So, the Abbess of Whitby turned, by the force of her prayers, all these nasty snakes into ammonites, losing their heads...

Did you know?

Not far from Vilhonneur, in the east of Angoulème, Charente, western France, the Cave is of the ammonite. Our magdalenian ancestors had there given up ammonites picked up in surroundings and decorated with small holes.

In the plains of Wild West,

the panoply of the perfect Indian guerissor contains inevitably an ammonite, known under the name "wanisugna"..

The horn of Ammon which makes make of beautiful dreams

You can see these words on an antique, greek coin, in 480 B.C. The sages gave insommiacs the advice to put an ammonite under the pillow before going to bed.

At the Blackfeet Indians,

these cephalopod fossils, also named "Buffalostones", in allusion to their resemblance to sleeping bisons, should be used at the time of their religious ceremonies the hunting day before.

In India

In several regions of India, ammonites had been treated as sacred items for the worship of Salagraman.

Another bedtime story...

At the Middle Ages, some magicians accorded magic power to ammonites. They said that their shells could create divine visions during sleep.


It is the name which the former Greeks gave to the ammonites, likely them to protect from the loss from the sight, impotence and of course......from the bites of snakes.

Snakes or giant sea eels ?

It is the question which the workmen of the careers of Portland put, when they discovered for the first time these hudge ammonites of the upper Jurassic which are Titanites giganteus.!

In Australia

And also in the country of the kangaroos...... one calls upon the magic capacities of the ammonites. Indeed, some Australian aboriginals still make use today as an amulet.


Long ago, in some areas of Germany, ammonites were called "dragon-stones", regarded as a good remedy against evil spell. What can you do in Germany, when your cow gives no longer milk? Put an ammonite into the milk can !

The divine wheels

Some himalayan tribes carried the ammonites up to the mountains, to venerate their divinity. They called them the "wheels of God".