Tuesday, 14 December 2021

What's Inside an Ammonite

What's Inside an Ammonite 

A correspondent sent me THIS LINK which tells us about new research into ammonites. If you have access you can read the source paper HERE.

The article records the use of X-ray tomography (a non-destructive technique) on an exceptionally well preserved ammonite from Gloucestershire, which is in the National Museum of Wales. It was found 20 years ago. It could have been opened up then, but it was kept until modern methods allowed it to be studied without breaking it.

Backlit shell with visible organs (to the left)

Left: 3D reconstruction. Right: Labelled internal organs

The results are that the animal is believed to have moved by jet propulsion, like many cephalopods and that it had paired muscles which could retract the beast inside its shell.

This is unlike Nautilus which has been used as a modern analogue of ammonites.

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