Historic ‘squid assault’ revealed in 200-million-year-old fossil

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At one time, a weird squid-like creature had arms coated in hooks that enabled it to assault and fully crush the cranium of its prey, based on researchers.

A 200-million-year-old fossil depicting the violent assault was discovered on the Dorset and East Devon Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage web site on the southern coast of New England.

Malcolm Hart, emeritus professor of micropaleontology on the College of Plymouth in England and the research’s lead researcher, defined that the assault was horrific.

“The pinnacle [of the fish] has been bitten by; the bones have gotten sharp edges the place they’ve actually been crushed and damaged,” Hart advised Stay Science. “So this factor most likely attacked the fish fairly violently — the bones within the head of the fish are simply actually smashed.”

The research was offered for publication within the journal Proceedings of the Geologists’ Affiliation.

A magnified image showing the damaged head and body of the fish, with the arms of the squid-like creature clamped around it.

A magnified picture exhibiting the broken head and physique of the fish, with the arms of the squid-like creature clamped round it.
(Malcolm Hart/Proceedings of the Geologists’ Affiliation)

Hart was capable of look at the fossil when it was on exhibit final 12 months on the Lyme Regis Museum in England.

His pictures enlarge the small print of the predator, an extinct squid relative often called a belemnoid, which had hardened hooks overlaying its 10 arms — like one thing out of a horror film.

Most trendy squids have eight “common” arms and two elongated ones, mentioned Michael Vecchione, an invertebrate zoologist on the Smithsonian’s Nationwide Museum of Pure Historical past in Washington, D.C., who was not concerned with the research.

“In some squids, these suckers turn into hooks,” Vecchione advised Stay Science. “However they don’t seem to be just like the hooks which can be within the belemnoids. They most likely perform very equally — they’re used to seize maintain of soppy issues you can’t seize maintain of with a sucker.”

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