MUSEUMS CHOICE     DINOSAURS / REPTILES     INVERTEBRATES     TRILOBITES     AMMONITES     AMPHIBIANS     FISH

PRIMITIVE MAN     ANCIENT MAN     MARINE VERTEBRATES     MEGALODON     SHARKS     PLANTS     LAND MAMMALS

HOME     WHAT'S NEW      JOIN OUR MAILING LIST     HOW TO ORDER     INFORMATION     FOSSIL FRAUD     ABOUT US


STRAIGHT CEPHALOPOD FOSSILS

The term 'straight' cephalopods is used here to describe fossil examples of straight ammonoids called Baculites, straight nautiloids called Orthoceras and Belemnites.  

Cephalopods evolved during the Late Cambrian Period.  Their bodies were predominantly elongate with conical shells.  Some of these creatures evolved into semi-coiled forms eventually giving rise to coiled cephalopods like ammonites and nautili.  Another branch of straight-shelled cephalopods continued to coexist with the coiled forms on into the Pennsylvanian Period.  These straight forms were much less diverse and abundant than the coiled cephalopods, as a whole.  

Straight cephalopods were among the most advanced invertebrates of their time having eyes, jaws, and a sophisticated nervous system.  These creatures were predators that swam freely using a jet propulsion system by squirting water from their bodies.  They had tentacles and ink sacs also much like the present-day squid.

Except for belemnites, cephalopods had external shells with hollow internal chambers separated by walls called septa.  A tube called the siphuncle, connected the body with the chambers allowing the animal to fill them with water or air, changing its buoyancy in order to rise or drop in the ocean.  Only the last and largest chamber was occupied by the living animal.  Belemnites were different in that they had internal shells called 'guards' which were covered with the soft, muscular tissues of their bodies.  These shells were also chambered but much less complex than the straight varieties of nautiloids and ammonoids.  

Straight cephalopods probably lived for one to six years, with the majority living two to four years. They fed on plankton (tiny free-floating organisms), sea lilies, and smaller orthoceras. Although many fed off the ocean floor, others may have caught plankton while floating or swimming via jet propulsion, expelling water through a funnel-like opening to propel themselves in the opposite direction.

Because straight cephalopods lived exclusively in marine environments, their presence also indicates the location of prehistoric seas.

A famous and very large fossil deposit of these animals known by the species ORTHOCERAS can be found in Morocco, North Africa.  Hundreds of millions of years ago, as they died, their shells accumulated in great numbers on the sea floor where they were aligned by currents, buried by sediments, and transformed over the ages into stone.  Today, this prehistoric sea floor is ironically, found in the dramatic Atlas Mountain Range in southern Morocco at the northern fringe of the Sahara Desert. 

All images and text on this site are protected by copyright and may not be used in any way.



CLICK ON THE PICTURES BELOW TO LEARN MORE ABOUT EACH SPECIMEN

INVERTEBRATES - MAIN


CLICK HERE TO SEE SOLD STRAIGHT CEPHALOPOD FOSSILS

 

 

MASSIVE FOSSIL-RICH PREHISTORIC ORTHOCERAS ARCHITECTURAL SEA LIFE SLAB - Atlas Mountain Range - South Morocco

40.5" x 33" overall size

$2550     ORX008     Actual Item - One Only

 

 

 

MASSIVE FOSSIL-RICH PREHISTORIC ORTHOCERAS ARCHITECTURAL SEA LIFE SLAB - Atlas Mountain Range - South Morocco

37" x 31" overall size

$2495     ORX009     Actual Item - One Only

 

 

 

MASSIVE FOSSIL-RICH PREHISTORIC ORTHOCERAS ARCHITECTURAL SEA LIFE SLAB - Atlas Mountain Range - South Morocco

36" x 29" overall size

$2495     ORX011     Actual Item - One Only

 

 

 

MASSIVE FOSSIL-RICH PREHISTORIC ORTHOCERAS ARCHITECTURAL SEA LIFE SLAB - Atlas Mountain Range - South Morocco

36" x 22" overall size

$1995     ORX012     Actual Item - One Only

 

 

 

MASSIVE ELONGATED PREHISTORIC ORTHOCERAS ARCHITECTURAL FOSSIL SLAB - Atlas Mountain Range - South Morocco

42" x 21" overall size

$2495     ORX010     Actual Item - One Only

 

 

 

MASSIVE ELONGATED PREHISTORIC ORTHOCERAS ARCHITECTURAL FOSSIL SLAB - Atlas Mountain Range - South Morocco

44.5" x 19.5" overall size

$2495     ORX003     Actual Item - One Only

 

 

 

MASSIVE FOSSIL-RICH PREHISTORIC ORTHOCERAS ARCHITECTURAL SEA LIFE SLAB - Atlas Mountain Range - South Morocco

42.5" x 28" overall size

$2550     ORX001     Actual Item - One Only

 

 

 

GIANT PREHISTORIC SEA LIFE FOSSIL ORTHOCERAS ARCHITECTURAL SLAB - Atlas Mountain Range - South Morocco

37.5" x 26" overall size

$2150     ORX004     Actual Item - One Only

 

 

 

GIANT PREHISTORIC SEA LIFE FOSSIL ORTHOCERAS ARCHITECTURAL SLAB - Atlas Mountain Range - South Morocco

31.5" x 23.5" overall size

$2150     ORX007     Actual Item - One Only

 

 

 

UNUSUALLY LARGE PREHISTORIC SEA LIFE ORTHOCERAS FOSSIL WITH 24 INCH LONG SINGLE GIANT CEPHALOPOD - Atlas Mountain Range - South Morocco

29.75" x 22" overall size with 24" long single orthoceras

$1995     ORX006     Actual Item - One Only

 

 

 

UNUSUALLY LARGE SQUARE-SHAPED PREHISTORIC SEA LIFE ORTHOCERAS ARCHITECTURAL FOSSIL SLAB - Atlas Mountain Range - South Morocco

29.5" x 28.5" overall size

$1850     ORX002     Actual Item - One Only

 

 

 

PRISTINE SET OF 21 LAB CLEANED CALCITE BELEMNITES FROM THE CRETACEOUS PERIOD - North Central Germany

Belemnites range from 2.2" to 1.3" in length

$575     BEL001     INCLUDES DISPLAY BOX     Actual Item - One Only

 

 

 

PRISTINE SET OF FIVE LARGE LAB CLEANED CALCITE BELEMNITES FROM THE CRETACEOUS PERIOD - North Central Germany

Belemnites range from 2.9" to 2.25" in length

$375     BEL002     INCLUDES DISPLAY BOX     Actual Item - One Only

 

Each fossil comes with a certificate of authenticity / information sheet.