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A spiral shell-like fossil next to apples and oranges

A Thanksgiving Tale of Two Horns

Paul Mayer is a collections manager of fossil invertebrates. What do Thanksgiving and a fossil ammonite have in common?  In ancient times, the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans associated the coiled horns of rams with gods, power, virility, fertility, and abundance. The cornucopia—a conical wicker basket with a never-ending supply of food flowing from it—comes from Latin cornu copiae or “horn of plenty.” The Greeks and Romans both used the cornucopia as a symbol of the harvest, prosperity, and abundance.

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