Juvenile Rachiteuthis Vampyromorph Coleoid Fossil

Rachiteuthis donovani

Phylum Mollusca, Class Cephalopoda, Subclass Coeloidea, Superorder Vampyropoda, Family Paleoliginidae

Geological Time: Middle Cretaceous, Cenomanian Stage (~95 million years ago)

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Overall 50 mm with 13 mm tentacles on a 117 mm by 75 mm matrix.

Fossil Site: Lebanese Lagerstatte, Hajula, Lebanon

Code: RS151

Price: Sold

Rachiteuthis donovaniDescription: Here is a most unusual fossil from the Cretaceous of Lebanon; a very detailed vampyromorgh cephalopod known as Rhaciteuthis donovani with preserved interior structure.. The most readily seen is the pointed gladius, along with the dark ink sac. The Vampyromorphidabeaks are also evident, and the tentacles can be seen as well. The gladius is also known as the pen, and is a hard structure found within the squids and the vampyromrphs. It has a parallel in the cuttlebone of cuttlefish which the family Budgie uses to hone its beak. The shape of the one seen here firmly places it within the family Paleoliginidae. The species was recently described in the reference below.

Reference: Fuchs, Memorie della Societa Italiana, Vol XXXIV Fasciolo II, 2006.

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