Fun Poll: Which of these would you like to see discovered?

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Fossils' started by Phil, Oct 1, 2003.

  1. Phil

    Phil Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    As things are usually quite serious around here, I thought we might have a fun poll.

    If you had the power to restore one of these extinct marine invertebrates to the modern oceans, which would you choose?
     
  2. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    Boy...thats a toss up between the giant nautilus (ussesss?) and the sea scorpion...
    But remember, when the elder ones (or is it the old ones?) come back, all that stuff comes with them too!
    Yaaaay.
    Greg
     
  3. Architeuthoceras

    Architeuthoceras Architeuthis Staff Member Moderator

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    We know what all those animals looked like alive, except ammonites, so just a glimpse of a live one would be wonderful. To put them in the oceans today would give Steve & Kat way too much to do. And I would have to move closer to the sea and take up scuba. But what would I do with my poor old jackass Maybell? :(

    :ammonite:
     
  4. Melissa

    Melissa Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter

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    I agree with Kevin, ammonites, but for a far more frivolous reason - their fossils structure is so pleasing and pretty, I'd like to see one in motion. No matter how many trilobite cookies I eat, I'm just not as excited about trilobites. But I'll post a photo of a trilobite fossil that was given to me soon.

    Melissa
     
  5. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    You just tell us what sort of environment to look in and we'll happily go in search .... we'd abandon all else at the drop of a hat!
     
  6. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Well, I would normally go for ammonites or belemnites but I think Hallucenogenia is just tooo weird & I'd loove to see one in the flesh (so to speak!)

    J
     
  7. Phil

    Phil Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    No-one chosen the trilobite yet? Those things were not as popular as I thought!

    Good choice Jean!

    Here's a picture of a fossil and a recent reconstruction of Hallucigenia from the Cambrian Chen-jiang fauna of China. This animal is so weird it was named after a hallucination! Originally reconstructed as marching along the sea-bed with seven pairs of spines forming the 'legs'; it is now thought the animal was reconstructed upside-down. The animal probably walked along on tube feet with the spines running along its' torso projecting upwards. The 'head' is always indistinct and shows no clearly defined sense organs. The animal was probably related to the velvet worm, Peripatus, as part of the Onychophora and examples covered in armoured plates have been discovered in China.

    Very strange indeed.
     
  8. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Thanks Phil, That is such a weird beastie!

    J
     
  9. WhiteKiboko

    WhiteKiboko Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Just have Kat set the Way Back Machine for a really long time ago.....


    :madsci:
     
  10. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    I love that!
     
  11. Phil

    Phil Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Well, we are over halfway and it's neck and neck, or rather mantle and thorax between the enigmatic molluscs and the armoured arthropods.

    Could this specimen of Mixopterus swing the vote in favour of the bugs, I wonder?


    Mixopterus
     
  12. um...

    um... Architeuthis Supporter

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    What about Opabinia? Weird, weird, weird.
     
  13. Phil

    Phil Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Opabinia?

    Another cracking choice!

    This Cambrian oddity had five eyes and a flexible trunk with a grasping claw at the end. It had a segmented carapace and has caused many a headache amongst palaeontologists keen on reconstructing and classifying this animal. Dr Sam Gon III has recently redescribed the animal and has interpreted the claw as being reconstructed at 90 degrees to its original plane. Opabinia, has also been reinterpreted as an anomalocarid so perhaps you could have voted for 6)!

    The example below comes from the Burgess Shale. Dr Gon's images, with fantastic fossil specimens is available to view here:

    Opabinia
     
  14. Architeuthoceras

    Architeuthoceras Architeuthis Staff Member Moderator

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    Something to sway the vote towards ammonites

    Nipponites

    Would you have seen this floating in midwater or laying on the bottom?

    :ammonite: Externally shelled cephalopods RULE :!:
     
  15. Fujisawas Sake

    Fujisawas Sake Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Nope.... all of you are wrong...

    Bring back LIOPLEURODON!

    Yup, big Jurassic baddie with lots of teeth and a WHOLE LOTTA attitude.

    Hee hee

    John

    "Not to put too fine a point on it
    Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet
    Put a little birdhouse in your soul..."

    They Might Be Giants
     
  16. Phil

    Phil Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Nipponites mirabilis was certainly one of the weirdest ammonites as can be seen from the link and the picture. It demonstrates possibly the most extreme derivation from the classic spiral shell shape amongst all of the ammonoidea, even amongst the heteromorphs. It looks like an irregular tangle of whorls but is really just an interconnecting mass of U-bends

    It was a very late ammonite, it lived in the late Cretaceous and has been found in Hokkaido, Japan, and in North America implying it had a very widespread distribution. It has been speculated that this ammonite lived in the surface waters drifting at a shallow depth and feeding on plankton. The ‘head’ was probably angled downwards as it seized small animals with its arms. Given the shape of the shell it must have been a poor swimmer and probably had a lifestyle similar to a jellyfish. The animal must have rolled as it grew and probably had a changing orientation as it developed.

    Good choice, Kevin.

    (I love the way people always pick the weirdest animals!)
     
  17. Fujisawas Sake

    Fujisawas Sake Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Phil,

    Is that type of above mentioned change of orientation similar to gastropod torsion? :snail: Do you think the viscera and everything would have also changed as well?

    These ammonite shell designs get weirder and weirder...

    John
     
  18. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I had to vote 'other'

    okay its not a ceph but what a buzz to see one of these cruising about!!!

    Carcharodon megalodon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That's my vote!
     
  19. Phil

    Phil Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Colin,

    Megalodon? Personally I think we are better off without those! Amazing to think they are known from the teeth alone; no other body parts have been recorded, as far as I know. Very impressive animal though.....from a distance.

    John,

    Good question; and I admit I am not able to answer it off the top of my head to be honest. I'll have to do a bit of research first. However, I can tell you that Nipponites is believed to have evolved from helically coiled ammonites such as is represented by Bostrychoceras. You may like to have a look at the family of ammonites known as Nostoceratidae, these contain many of the strangest heteromorphs.

    I just can't imagine Nipponites growing and maintaining the same orientation. The thing must have twisted as chambers were added; the axis of orientation must have been forever shifting.

    Some of these bizarre heteromorphs were not the specialised end-lineages they appear to be, some of the uncoiled or partially coiled heteromorphs in the Lower Cretaceous produced descendants with normal or near-normal coiling.

    I apologise, that was not much of an answer for you.
     
  20. Fujisawas Sake

    Fujisawas Sake Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Phil,

    No, I think that was a pretty darn good answer. I think that torsion might betray a more direct evolutionary link between cephs and gastros. Only time will tell.

    I'll have to look more up on my ammonites...

    John
     

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