This lovely speciman was shown at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. Fossil Ammonites from Whitby in England have been sold as petrified snakes. The formidable St. Hilda was said to have caused a plague of snakes to have been turned to stone and local craftsmen often carved snakes heads on the fossils for sale to pilgrims. One of the ammonites was called Hildoceras after the saint. The coat of arms of Whitby include three 'snakestones'. St. Hilda was so revered that one local legend says birds flying over her Abbey dip their wings in her honour. Women rule even in legend.
This fossil is Xiphactinus audax and this particular specimen is 17 feet long and was discovered by Mike Everhart in 1996. It's been found with undigested prey in its stomach but the eater was also eaten and it's been found in the stomachs of larger predators. The species went extinct when the Niobraran Sea began to dry up in the late Cretaceous period. I set this as desktop wallpaper to get a close up personal look at its teeth and they are biiiig. Makes my little fish fossil limestone look like whitebait.