“It’s the exact same size, exact same age, exact same location, exact same proportions and they are preserved a little differently,” Dr. Kluge said.
Dr. Clements, who was not involved in the research, said the new paper relies heavily on visual analysis methods, and these questions can be resolved through chemical analyses. “With a full range of technologies, we will certainly have more clues or a lot more answers,” he said, noting that these techniques can be expensive.
When Dr. Wahl first examined the fossil, he looked for phragmocone, the stone shell characteristic of most fossil cephalopods that helps them control buoyancy. a nautilus phragmocone is its coiled shell; a squid It is squid bone. Dr. Wallen said that the fossilized chambers of the Phragmokon are divided into mineralized plates, which are very distinctive and generally well-preserved.
Dr. Wallen said the fossil of G. beargulchensis, preserved at the American Museum of Natural History, preserves these distinctive leaves. The authors are of the opinion that because this fossil and S. bideni were preserved at the same site and in the same environment, both should have had preserved streaks. But S.Pedeni had no trace of these strains, indicating that the creature never had an inner shell.
Dr. Wallen also expected to see evidence of a primitive rostrum, a metallic counterweight to ensure early cephalopods were able to swim horizontally. But the S. Bedney fossil did not have a rostrum, indicating that it “wasn’t originally there,” Dr. Wallen said.
Instead, the researchers’ analysis found that S.Pideni’s inner shell is gladius, a triangular shell-like remnant found in squid and vampire squid. “It’s really not something anyone would expect to see in an animal of this age,” Dr. Wallen said. “We knew we were looking for an early vampire.”
Dr. Kluge disputed this conclusion, stating that the cortex is a deformed phragmocon and the body chamber of G.