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The Belemnitida are an extinct group within the subclass Coleoidea of the Cephalopoda . A Belemnite, is in fact the central part of the internal skeleton of a squid –like animal. Belemnites have emerged but also disappeared during the Mesozoic. They were most common during the Jurassic and Cretaceous period.



Schematic reconstruction of the main components of a belemnite.



Example of the rostrum of a Belemnite.

Most of the time only the most  spherical part of the belemnite is found , the so-called rostrum. In this rostrum there is a cone-shaped cavity , the alveolus . Inside it the animal itself lived in a sort of  shell , similar to the shells of other cephalopods such as Nautiloids and Ammonites . In well-preserved specimens this phragmocone can be found. Some species are known to have been active hunters possessing large tentacles with sharp hooks . These can also be found sporadically as fossils.

Fossils with preservation of these soft tissues are known from various so called  “konservat – lägerstatten” , including the famous lithographic limestone near Solnhofen in Germany.


A Belemnite with a part of the phragmocone in its original position.



Photos and locations for Belemnoidea on this site

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