Delicately durable and delicately vibrant–two oxymorons that epitomize the characteristics of an ammonite fossil exhibited at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta.

ammonite (2)

Yet, it’s the simple complexity of the structure that best explains why after 200 million years, we can still appreciate its resilience and iridescence. The integrity of the ammonite’s spiral chambers are believed to have regulated buoyancy, and protected the crustacean from the tremendous force of oceanic pressure drops.

And while it may have taken an epoch of tectonic pressure, heat and mineralization to metamorphosize and fortify such a fragile fossil, the structure of time has enhanced our revelation of objects possessing rare and infinite beauty.