- Straight Cephalopod
- Ordovician Age
- Erfoud, Morocco North Africa
- Specimen measures approx. 5 7/8″ long
Cephalopods are the most intelligent, most mobile, and the largest of all molluscs. Squid, octopuses, cuttlefish, the chambered nautilus, and their relatives display remarkable diversity in size and lifestyle with adaptations for predation, locomotion, disguise, and communication. These “brainy” invertebrates have evolved suckered tentacles, camera-like eyes, color-changing skin, and complex learning behavior. Their lengthy evolutionary history spans an impressive 500 million years and the abundant fossils they’ve left behind (mostly shelled nautiloids and ammonoids) record repeated speciation and extinction events. From myths about their enigmatic fossilized remains to fantastic accounts of tentacled sea monsters, cephalopods also figure prominently in the literature and folklore of human societies around the world. Today, biologists and paleontologists continue to captivate the human mind and imagination with details of these molluscs’ behavior, natural history, and evolution.