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June 13, 2012

By Trish Weaver

Research & Collections

by Trish Weaver

As an invertebrate paleontologist and someone who frequently sticks her foot in her mouth, it’s only natural that my research focuses on fossil cephalopods. Yes, cephalopods! Those head-footed critters such as squid, cuttlefish, octopuses, nautiloids, and etc…

Before I get started on squid pens, there are some important things to know about cephalopods. First, some cephalopods have external shells (nautiloids & ammonites), some have internal shells (cuttlefish & belemnites), some have vestigial shells (squid), some have no shells (most octopuses), all have their heads at their “feet” and all are mollusks.

Second, all cephalopods have arms, but only squid and cuttlefish have actual tentacles. Who knew? Walt Kelly had it right when he wrote “”He who is forewarned is forearmed, and he who is four armed is half an octopus, and who wants to be that?”

Lastly, just because squid have ink it doesn’t…

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