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Starting Point for Prehistoric Cephalopods?


Sep 26, 2005
Usually I take more interest in modern ceph's but recently I've been getting quite interested in learning about early cephalopods. I was wondering, aside from Phil's cool tree if there were any good starting points? I have a very basic knowledge of the more faomous/well documented ones, such as ammonites, belemnites, orthocones etc, but wanted to find out more, what they looked like, their basic morphology, possible feeding and hunting behaviours etc.

erich orser

TONMO Supporter
Nov 29, 2004
You sir, should check out Neale Monks' work on the subject, as well as just a generalized study of the entire "Fossils and History" forum, as that will pretty much lead you everywhere you need to go!

Ancient cephalopods are truly fascinating, amazing creatures, and I wish you well in you research!

You can't do better than to start with Phil and Kevin. These boys rule. And really helpful!


Staff member
Nov 19, 2002
somewhere under the desert sky
Graeme said:
what they looked like, their basic morphology, possible feeding and hunting behaviours etc.
That is the question of the age, probably more elusive than photos of a living Architeuthis. Unfortunately fossils of the soft parts of cephalopods are extremely rare to nonexistant. Fossils of squid, belemnites, and a couple of octopuses are the only ones (see Phils articles in the Fossils and History section).
Ammonoids are the most common fossil ceph, so more work has probably been done on them than any other form. For some insight into ammonoid lifestyle based on shell shape see:
Westermann, G. E. G., 1996, Ammonoid Life and Habitat, in: Ammonoid Paleobiology, Volume 13 of Topics in Geobiology, Edited by Landman, N. H., Tanabe, K. and Davis, R. A., Plenum Press, New York, p. 607-707

Or wait for Steve to unveil his living ammonites. 8-)

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