Paleoctopus Cretaceous Octopus Fossil from Lebanon

Paleoctopus newboldi

Phylum Mollusca, Class Cephalopoda, Order Octopoda

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

Size: Fossil is 45 mm long on a 105 mm by 85 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Lebanese Lagerstätte, Haqel, Lebanon

Paleoctopus Description: 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. The last two photographs (bottom row below) have enhanced contrast to bring out some features that are somewhat faint; the second picture is a negative image. The darkest area is actually preserved ink which the octopus would have used as a smokescreen to protect it from predators.

click to enlarge


Enhanced contrast images to the left and right. The one on the right is a negative image.

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