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October 30, 2010
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Endoceras by AStepIntoOblivion Endoceras by AStepIntoOblivion
Always wanted to do this. :D I've been collecting fossils since I was a kid. I made dioramas of Paleozoic sealife out of clay before. I just realized today that hey, I can actually make dioramas now... in 3d! Lulz

These are Endoceras, primitive cephalopods which later gave rise to our modern squid, octopus, cuttlefish, nautilids, argonauts, etc.

Most other depictions of Endoceras have always bothered me. Endoceras are often shown in illustrations as having advanced features found in modern coleoids - for example, having lenses in their eyes, arms instead of tentacles, and having suckers. IMO that's kinda like putting jet engines on a biplane reconstruction simply because both the F14 and the de Havilland Tiger Moth are aircraft.

Nautiloids are an entirely separate branch from modern cephalopods, their closest descendants being the two genera of Nautilus. And Nautilus/Allonautilus have somewhat primitive retractable tentacles with ridges instead of suckers or hooks, and very primitive pinhole eyes. To put it simple, nautiloids most probably did NOT look like squids with shells.

Bactritids (and other neocephalopodan nautiloids), orthoconic ammonites, belemnites, and other coleoids however are another matter. I think the confusion stems from the fact that Bactritids and some straight shelled ammonites do look superficially like orthoconic nautiloids. But then again, as very little soft tissues of ancient cephalopods have survived (despite having abundant hard fossil remains, that of ammonites especially), and convergence may have actually given them similar evolutionary features as their cousins (much like reptilian/avian feathers and mammalian hair)... we really don't know. :P

Anyway, enjoy. Please do not use this anywhere else without asking permission.
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:icontunaprince:
TunaPrince Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012
I like this picture, both artistically and for providing an alternative interpretation of Endoceras that's more nautilus-like than squid-like. Might I borrow the image for a slide in a public presentation? I would of course provide credit to you as the artist.

Regarding the affinities of cephalopods - the resemblance of bactritids to orthoconic nautiloids is more than superificial; bactritids evolved from orthocerids. While it may be a mistake to assume all Paleozoic nautiloids had anatomy like coleoids, we also cannot assume they all resembled the modern nautilus, which is itself specialized and might just as likely have evolved its numerous arms from a smaller number of arms in the ancestral cephalopod. Given the great diversity of form we see among Ordovician nautiloids, it's likely they were a lot more varied than what we see among coleoids and nautilus today. Given our uncertainty about these animals known only from shells, an interpretation such as this one has value.
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:iconlmmetz:
lmmetz Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
Hi! I am really interested in fossils as well. I was wondering if you could refer me to some research on the type and number of tentacles Ordovician cephalopods had. Thanks!
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:iconrichdoe:
richdoe Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2010
this is awesome. Really, extremely cool. Could you do more Devonian (sp?) or earlier era creatures? This is seriously one of my favorite parts of history.
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:iconastepintooblivion:
AStepIntoOblivion Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2010
Thank you. ^-^

I actually have a nearly finished (needs texture) Eurypterus model. But I hadn't had the time to get around to texturing it yet, sadly. And yep, same here. Paleozoic rawks. :D
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:icondevibrigard:
DeviBrigard Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010
its nice to see a thorough description of the subject
nicely done, those tentacles must have taken some time

steampunk carrots really wasnt what I was thinking, but I can see it now.
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:iconduerkark-the-witness:
I'm going to fav this, because I've never seen anything like it, and I think it's totally unique.

But I still can't sop myself from thinking they look like Steampunk carrots. B|
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:iconrik2110:
rik2110 Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2010
I'll congratulate producing the prehistoric feel of the animal, LOL'd and have to agree with the carrot & steam punk thing.
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:iconduerkark-the-witness:
Oh, blueprints...

+watch.
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:iconastepintooblivion:
AStepIntoOblivion Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2010
LOLz. It does!
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:icondjomally:
djomally Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2010
OMG they do... :P
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