Wednesday, April 4, 2012

When Ammonites Fly

Along the lines of reverting to aquatic dinosaurs as has been seen in the geoblogosphere of late, I give you Duria Antiquior (above), and it's lithographic byproduct (below).  Floating on the surface of the water are ammonites with wings (or sails as conjectured some).

Clearly showing that ammonites could fly


Or could they?

A lot of science has been done since the art above was first seen.  Back then about the only creature known to compare the ammonites to was the Argonaut, one of the group of octopus that are known for a lot of webbing between their arms (such as this Blanket Octopus).  The "wings" of argonauts are specially modified arms used to secrete a calcium carbonate shell used to hold eggs (best seen in the top photo here).  We now compare ammonite shells more closely to the Pearly Nautilus and the animal itself to the ten armed cephalopods.  Hopefully we can advance as we learn, .