A long extinct octopus.

tonmo

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#2
Awesome! I've been interested in this (ie, what's the oldest octopus fossil?) for a long time! So elusive of course; no bones...

Here is the English translation coutersy of AltaVista's Babelfish:

English Translation (this takes a few moments to process)
 

Clem

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#3
Re: A long extinct octopus.

Phil said:
Even if you can't speak French, it's well worth a look. What a fantastic fossil!

Is that a fin at its posterior?
Never mind the octopod, that chestnut is spectacular.

Could be posterior fins. That might be a second lobe folded beneath the mantle.

The level of preservation is incredible. Entombment had to have been instantaneous. What are the fossil's dimensions?

:?:

Clem
 

Phil

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#4
Just noticed, it appears to have SEVEN arms. OK, one might be concealed behind the mantle............but maybe not?

Draw what conclusions you will!

As for dimensions, I really don't know. I've only got this one photo to go on so your guess is as good as mine. I wish I had a few pics more to reveal.
 

Phil

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#5
Thanks to Clem, here we have another fossil octopus: Palaeoctopus newboldi. which is from the late Cretaceous period and was found in Lebanon.

http://owen.nhm.ac.uk/browsing/images/c278/c027828r.jpg

This is the earliest known true octopod, apparantly the French Jurassic fossil Proteroctopus ribeti posted above is undetermined as to its classification. It has been classified as a Vampyromorph (from which the modern octopus and modern Vampyroteuthis stem), or possibly it is an even earlier true octopod.

Some researchers have been attempting to determine the presence of ancient octopods by looking for secondary evidence; i.e by examining drill holes on fossil crustacea.

It seems to be very hard to find info on these fossil octopi; there is not much out there....
 

Architeuthoceras

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Beautiful fossils! You'd think, just once, they could find an ammonoid in some of these Lagerstätten. An ammonoid preserved in that way would answer so many questions!

Still searching

:ammonite:
 

Phil

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#7
Wouldn't it just!

Now, as mentioned on another thread somewhere, indeed there are some researchers who are sitting on a unique ammonite that does indeed display soft-bodied anatomy. If only they could be persuaded to post a photo here.........eh, Clem?

Fingers crossed......no promises.........
 

Clem

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Phil said:
If only they could be persuaded to post a photo here.........eh, Clem?

Fingers crossed......no promises.........
Sorry, I missed that. Got the pneumatic chisel going.

Yes, that would be nice, wouldn't it?

:wink:
 

Phil

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#9
Ressurrecting an old thread....

Just found this fascinating extract. It appears that Proteroctopus is no longer the oldest octopus known. There has been a discovery of a Carboniferous (!) period octopod from the Mazon Creek fauna in Illinois at the astounding date of 300 million years old. This is 160 million years older than Proteroctopus. Interesting that it shares features with the lineage that led to Spirula and the other advanced coleoids. This will obviously have a major impact on our understanding of cephalopod evolution.

It just goes to show how poor our understanding of early coleoid evolution is, one chance find and the whole system requires major revision.

Pohlsepia Mazonensis, An Early 'Octopus' From The Carboniferous Of Illinois, USA

Joanne Kluessendorf & Peter Doyle

Pohlsepia mazonensis gen. et sp. nov. from the Mazon Creek Konservat Lagersta¨tte (Carboniferous) of Illinois is an exceptionally preserved soft-bodied fossil coleoid, with well-defined body and arms. Lacking an internal shell and possessing eight subequal and two modified arms, Pohlsepia can be compared with both the living cirrate octopods and the decabrachian sepiardarids, both of which lack a well-developed internal skeleton. Given its sac-like body, lack of a well-defined head and presence of fins, Pohlsepia can be safely compared with modern cirrate octopods. It is the oldest known completely soft-bodied coleoid and as such has great significance with respect to the phylogeny of the group, given that both the octobrachian and decabrachian clades have previously been thought to have evolved in the Jurassic.
The full article is available on the Blackwell Publishing website but will cost $25 to download. Any takers?

http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/links/doi/10.1111/1475-4983.00155/abs/
 

michael schmidt

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#15
ammonites with soft tissue

ammonites with soft tissue preservation are not impossible to find. i have photos of several, and even have a plate of Jurassic aged ammonites from France with soft tissue remains.

email me for photos
 

Architeuthoceras

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#16
Great find Phil :D , I will have to wait until I can get hold of the university library's copy. Looks like a banner day for the Fossil & History Forum today, I just might get up towards 200 posts if this keeps up :jester:
 

um...

Architeuthis
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#18
Here's a picture of Pohlsepia mazonensis, along with a brief description. This is all lifted straight from the article in Paleontology.

Description of holotype. The specimen is exceptionally well preserved, providing a ventral view of its low relief, and is represented as a slight colour difference within the dark greyish brown siderite concretion, which is 80mm long and 50 mm wide. Light coloured features in the concretion to the left posterior (and possibly to the right anterior) of the specimen probably represent fluids expressed from the animal after burial. Distinct body, head and arms can be distinguished, as well as a number of internal and delicate external features.

The body of the coleoid, which has been compressed dorsoventrally, is subcircular and 35mm wide at its broadest point, with two distinct and symmetrical fins at its anterior. These fins are narrow and confined to the posterior margin of the coleoid. The mantle appears to have crumpled slightly, causing the posterior fins to tilt slightly to the anterior. An internal feature to the posterior of the coleoid may be interpreted as either an ink sac or a gut trace; ink sacs are common in Mesozoic coleoids, and the flask-like form of the trace is reminiscent of these. However, it is unusual for the ink not to be preserved, as the melanin of coleoid ink is stable. A similar feature was also described from Allison's specimen of an unknown coleoid (Allison 1987). The specimen shows no sign of any internal shell or phragmocone.

The head is identifiable but indistinct from the body, and possesses mandibular architecture, eyes, a funnel and arms. Mandibles and radula are preserved in the head region as strong impressions. The mandibles are articulated, although crushed and difficult to identify, and the radula is preserved in situ between them. Radula are commonly preserved in many of the Mazon Creek cephalopods. However, unlike these, the present specimen has its radula obscured by matrix and is otherwise unidentifiable. A short funnel may be visible at the anterior centre of the head, indicating the ventral aspect of the view, and is distinct and broadly central although no cartilagenous locking apparatus is present. The eyes are preserved as small patches of dark pigment which are spaced on either side of the
well-defined head, and the dark pigmentation is a typical feature of eyes in Mazon Creek vertebrates(?).

The arm crown is indistinct, although its component arms are clearly circumoral, and both short arms and longer modified arms (tentacles) may be distinguished. Only the right appendages are well preserved (left as seen in the ventral view), and comprise what appears to be four short arms (only three are definitely visible) and one longer tentacle. No hooks are present and suckers are not visible.
 

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