Phil's Belemnite Article

Architeuthoceras

Architeuthis
Staff member
Moderator
#1
Great article Phil! With this, and the Ammonoid article, TONMO is well on it's way to becoming the best site on the internet for information on fossil cephalopods. I think all the members would agree it is already the best site for info on extant cephalopods, and anything to do with cephalopods. :notworth:

:nautilus: :meso: :squid: :ammonite: :cthulhu: :snail: :spongebo:
 

Phil

Colossal Squid
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Registered
#2
:oops: Thankyou very much Kevin!

I can only thank Neale for taking the time to check it through, make suggestions and correct me where I was off course. And Kevin, thanks to you too for all your help in the forum; I'd be lost without you!

:grad: + :ammonite: = :thumbsup:
 

um...

Architeuthis
Supporter
#4
Yeah, thanks! Or maybe I should say, "Curses!"

It seems that every time I finish reading one of your articles I end up spending hours and $$$ trying to satisfy some new curiosities. Ever since I discovered this site there has been an alarming diversion of resources away from the Ministry of Single-Malt Scotch Appreciation. Something must be done!!

Seriously, though, might I ask if you have a most-recommended reference on ceph history?
 

Phil

Colossal Squid
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#5
Well, um…

To be honest with you, there is very little ‘out there’ purely dedicated to fossil cephalopods that is easy to obtain. Ammonites, belemnites and nautiloids are often referred to in large coffee-table books on prehistoric life but usually only in passing as they tend to dwell on the more spectacular and glamorous dinosaurs. At the other end of the scale are the research papers that are hard to obtain, unless you happen to work in a university, and even if they can be tracked down, they are, of course very technical and area-specific. Books in-between the two extremes usually consist of fossil identification manuals which are only really of use if you are actively engaged in fossil hunting.

Having said that, there are two books that I would wholeheartedly recommend:

Monks, N; Palmer P. 2002. Ammonites. The Natural History Museum.

Clarkson, ENK; 1998. Invertebrate Palaeontology and Evolution (4th ed.).Blackwell.

Neale’s book mainly focuses on ammonite biology and lifestyle and is very readable and I would highly recommend it. It is inexpensive and you should be able to find a copy for about $15. Clarkson’s book is also very good and covers all aspects of invertebrate palaeontology, not just cephalopods and mollusca, and is aimed at an undergraduate level. Although it may not be 100% up to date, it is certainly worth purchasing if you are interested I this subject. It is available from Blackwell’s publishers and costs about £22, I imagine that would be about $35. I have found both invaluable for this web-site.

For pure technical detail, the standard reference work is Ammonoid Paleobiology (ed. Neil Landman) is available. I have not got a copy but I know that Kevin (on this site) does. This is the main reference work on these animals and consists of a number of scientific papers covering all aspects of ammonoid biology and lifestyle but does not come cheap; I once saw a copy priced at £200, one of the main reasons I did not buy it! Also available is a 3 part CD-Rom available from Blackwell Publishing called Paleobase. Part.2 covers mollusca and cephalopods in great detail. The information contained there is very technical, is written by researchers at the Natural History Museum in London, and is basically a learning research tool. You will find fantastic quality photographs, some technical description, but no discussion of lifestyle or behaviour. Recommended for research only and is priced around £25, probably about $40.

There you have it. It’s not much but a start. Perhaps Kevin and Neale could suggest others. All are easily available on Amazon.
 

um...

Architeuthis
Supporter
#6
To be honest with you, there is very little ‘out there’ purely dedicated to fossil cephalopods that is easy to obtain. Ammonites, belemnites and nautiloids are often referred to in large coffee-table books on prehistoric life but usually only in passing as they tend to dwell on the more spectacular and glamorous dinosaurs.

That's sort of the impression I got, and why I was hoping you might provide some guidance. My underfunded university library happens to have a copy of Landman's book and several copies of Clarkson's, which I will certainly take a look at. Ammonites is too cheap to pass up, and is already in my shopping cart at amazon. Invertebrate Palaeontology, though, looks to be almost exactly what I've been looking for, based on the table of contents. It goes in the collection as soon as I have the funds. I have fish and early tetrapods sort of covered for now, but next to nothing on invertebrates. :(

Thanks, you've been exceedingly helpful!
 

Neale Monks

Cuttlefish
Registered
#7
Hi,

Phil did a great job on the Belemnite article. They're not an easy to group to write about since very little actual functional morphology or ecology has been done on them. After all, the belemnite guard is even less informative than the ammonite shell! Peter Doyle at the University of Greenwich is the man to write to if you have specific questions, as he's probably the UK's foremost man of belemnites. (He's also very into military geology, but that's another story. At the Natural History Museum we have a joke about another palaeontologist with similar interests being the head of the Army's "crack latrine digging unit".)

As for books, if you can read French or are happy just translating the diagrams, I cannot recommend Patrice Lebrun's recent Ammonite volumes done of glossy French geology magazine. The website is here:

http://www.minerauxetfossiles.com/revue/hors_series/hors_series_info.htm

Ulrich Lehmann's "Ammonites" book was translated into English in the late 70s and also worth looking out for. I can't think of any on belemnites, there isn't even a "Treatise" on them as there is for practically everything else.

Anyway, best wishes to all from sunny Nebraska, a bad place to fish for squid.

Neale
 

Tintenfisch

Architeuthis
Staff member
Moderator
#8
Neale Monks said:
Anyway, best wishes to all from sunny Nebraska, a bad place to fish for squid.
8) Say 'hi' to my folks for me (Omaha) - they're always trying to tell me I should forget live cephs and turn my interests back a few million years, so I can spend some time on local soil.
 

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