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Searching for the Old Ones: Lovecraftian giant cephalopods and the fossil record

Enigmatic ocean giants, giant squid and colossal squid are the largest living invertebrates but even larger suckered giants may have lived in the pastWe've already looked at ghosts and zombies in the fossil record but if you fancy your Halloween horrors a little more Lovecraftian then I've got some ancient suckered creatures from the depths of the ocean and time for you. Tenuous seasonal segue over, let's look at giant cephalopods from the fossil record. Cephalopods are a class of molluscs that includes octopuses, "squid", cuttlefish, vampire squid, nautilus and extinct forms such as ammonoids and belmnites. We've covered cephalopods in Lost Worlds Revisited before, in particular the difficulty in interpreting fossils of animal which lack hard parts. Octopuses have a very limited fossil record, there are still a lot of questions about what ammonites looked like in life, and living nautilus are sometimes unfairly labelled "living fossils". Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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