Preservation and recovery

I came across this image in my collections today while looking for something else and it seemed too goo not to use. I have commented in the past on bias in the fossil record and how some things go missing regularly from specimens or are not preserved if not made of bone. Well here is a real rarity, a fossil cephalopod. While I really like these animals, I’m not entirely sure if this is a squid or cuttlefish, though I suspect the former.

This specimen is on display at the wonderful Jura Museum in Eichstaett and as you can see is (for a soft bodied animal) very well preserved with individual tentacles and more being present. What you can’t see though since there is no scale is that the slab is about 2 meters long – this is a very hefty animal! Not quite Archetiuthus perhaps, but not bad for the Jurassic.

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