Always wanted to do this.
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!
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
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.
Anyway, enjoy. Please do not use this anywhere else without asking permission.