Cretaceous Octopus Fossil Paleoctopus

Paleoctopus newboldi

Phylum Mollusca, Class Cephalopoda, Order Octopoda

Geologic Time: Middle Cretaceous, Cenomanian Stage (~95 million years ago)

Size: 85 mm long and 27 mm across tentacles

Fossil Site: Lebanese Lagerstatt, Haqel, Lebanon

Octopus FossilDescription: Here is a most unusual fossil from the Cretaceous of Lebanon; a very detailed octopus. Given the fact that there are no hard parts to preserve to speak of, the detail here is amazing, and testiment to the exceptional preservation often found in the Lebanese Lagerstatt. The last photo has been enhanced to bring out some features which are somewhat faint. The darkest area is actually preserved ink which the octopus would have used as a smokescreen to protect it from predators.

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