Rhaeboceras - a wonderful beast

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Fossils' started by Steve O'Shea, May 24, 2003.

  1. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Thought I'd post a few images of this wonderful ammonite Rhaeboceras. Neil Landman of the American Museum of Natural History has sent us a few of these amazing beasts. In some images you will see these truly fantastic structures that have been identified as 'radula teeth', in others the aptychus in situ (in a fragment of the body chamber), and then an image of the entire shell. They date to the Upper Cretaceous, Montana.

    We could have some great debate online about these ammonites, and whether the aptychus is a beak and these radular teeth are in fact homologous with a true radula (or whether they are gizzard teeth and gizzard plates). Who knows.
    Cheers
    O
     
  2. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    And these images are of the aptychus; sorry that they are so dark, but I'm having a battle with this camera trying to dim the flash (otherwise there's complete whiteout).
     
  3. Phil

    Phil Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Steve,

    These 'radula teeth' are they analagous to any structure in any modern ceph you have examined?

    Phil
     
  4. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Never seen anything like them in any extant cephalopod Phil. I'll have images somewhere of the buccal bulb, odontophore and radula of a typical squid somewhere (just have to track them down) and will post online asap. I have a great deal of trouble envisaging the musculature associated with such enormous teeth being accommodated inside that body chamber.

    Have you ever seen anything like this?
     
  5. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Um, is it possible those teeth belong to something else? Something that bit into the Rhaeboceras?

    Maybe it's just me, but those teeth look...foreign. Though the fracturing of the shell near the teeth's concretion might have been post-mortem, it is a bit suggestive.

    Phil? I'm scared, Phil.

    :goofysca:

    Clem
     
  6. Phil

    Phil Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    I'm afraid not. I think the discovery of aptychi/anaptychi is a rare discovery in itself. Unfortunately I have never been so lucky. On the other hand, many of the ammonites that I have found have been coated in the original aragonite so I suppose you can't have everything!

    This function of the aptychus is most peculiar. In some examples it almost fills the whole of the living chamber leaving little room for the fleshy parts. In some examples it takes up to a fifth of the whole bulk of the creature requiring massive musculature indeed.

    Why can't those researchers sitting on this soft bodied ammonite image publish? Or if they have let us mortals see the results by printing it in the popular press? An image would be great to speculate about. How is the aptychus orientated? Clam shell doors or beak? How were the muscles attached?

    I'm going to have to some reading!
     
  7. Architeuthoceras

    Architeuthoceras Architeuthis Staff Member Moderator

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    Steve,

    Can you tell the position of the radula and aptychus, which is closer to the last septum? How close to the last septum or aperture? They both seem to be far enough ventral that they leave no room for a siphon.
     

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