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A cephalopod is any member of the molluscan class Cephalopoda. Cephalopods are found in the ocean since the Cambrian. The ancestors of the nautiloids evolved during the Ordovician, and in the Mesozoic era cephalopods such as ammonites were dominantly present in the sea.
The class of cephalopods contains the following subclasses:
- Neocoleoidea: with recent representatives such as octopus, cuttlefish etc;
- Belemnoids: belemnites;
- Ammonitida: ammonites;
- Ceratitida: ceratites;
- Goniatitida: goniatites;
- Nautiloids: nautilus;
- Other nautiloids such as the Orthoceras.
Some cephalopods such as the nautilus and ammonites have an exoskeleton. Other species have an internal skeleton such as the current cuttlefish, and this also applies to the belemnites. Many current species have no skeletal parts at all anymore, such as the octopus.
Cephalopods move forward by squeezing out water into the sea. It then moves in the opposite direction of the water flow. Ammonites, for example, move backwards, with their body and head in the direction to where they came from. Other squid like creatures were able to swim forward. All cephalopods are carnivores.
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