[Featured]: [Article]: Vampyroteuthis infernalis (by Phil Eyden)

I thank you once again, Capn, Mr Delta, Melissa and Lord Spart.

I believe it is now time to reveal the inevitable rejected picture (every article has at least one unloved and tearful). I was so short of uncopyrighted pictures I could use at one point I even resorted to photographing small Japanese model vampire squid available in packets of chocolate in vending machines.

One gets a lot of chocolate with an Architeuthis, I can tell you. :hmm:


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Hello Phil,

Your article is outstanding. The vampyromorphs always left me a wee bit confused, but you've cleared all of that up. Quite brilliant, Sir.

Hi Phil,

like the others, I have enjoyed it very much...
Truly amazing and unique group of cephs that would require more attention...

Thanks Clem and Eups. Steve deserves a great deal of credit for the proof read.

There are plenty of fossil vamps I'd like to have included details on, but finding information on them on the net is almost as hard as photographing a live Architeuthis. For example, there is an enigmatic well preserved mid-Jurassic beast known from Voulte-on-Rhone called Vampyronassa that I would have loved to include. Unfortunately, not all researchers reply to enquiring e-mails...

Maybe when the Treatise of Invertebrate Palaeontology Part M. Mollusca 5 (Coleoidea) is eventually published we'll get some interesting facts and figures. Until then it's just bits and pieces I'm afraid.
Ah, thank you very much. I had fun writing that article and it is really nice to know it was appreciated.

It's about time I started a new one. Overdue in fact.
Vampyronassa pic/info

Hello all,
I agree, this is a wonderful article. Phil, I read the old post saying you'd like info/pics on vampyronassa. I have the french copy of its description, and I have a picture of a nice specimen of Vampyronassa. I can take more if you want a close-up of a part. Attaching photo. Let me know if you want me to repost the photo to the gallery or if it gets automatically posted there.


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Hi Will,

Thanks everso much for that stunning contribution. I couldn't find any details about Vampyonassa when I wrote that article other than a few hints about its existance, and certainly no details. The picture you have provided is fascinating - the thing even looks like the Vampire Squid. Yes, any details you could provide will be very welcome, and please upload it to the gallery.

To set a context, Vampyronassa is about 162-165m years old (middle Jurassic) and was found at Volte-sur-Rhone in France, the same site as was found the unique specimen of Proteroctopus.

I imagine that this fossil must have caused quite a stir amongst those researchers studying vampyromorph cephalopods and coleoid evolution.

Thanks also for your kind words too!

I've just found the abstract from the desription of Vampyronassa. Unfortunately the full article is $30 (don't you just hate that?):

Vampyronassa rhodanica nov. gen. nov sp., vampyromorphe (Cephalopoda, Coleoidea) du Callovien inférieur de la Voulte-sur-Rhône (Ardèche, France)

Jean-Claude Fischer, A and Bernard Riou

Annales de Paléontologie, Volume 88, Issue 1, January-March 2002, Pages 1-17


Vampyronassa rhodanica nov. gen. nov. sp., Vampyromorpha (Cephalopoda, Coleoidea) from the Lower Callovian of la Voulte-sur-Rhône (Ardèche, France). The Vampyromorpha, an order of cephalopods closely related to Octopoda, have been yet undubitably identified only in recent time, always in deep oceanic waters. Their occurrence since the Middle Jurassic is evidenced by about twenty specimens from the Lower Callovian of la Voulte-sur-Rhône (Ardèche), which exhibit vampyromorph fundamental features : eight sessile arms showing one row of suckers with bordering cirri, a web uniting the arms, a pair of brachial tentacles, well shaped lateral eyes, an internal uncalcified supporting organ (gladius), a pair of supero-posterior fins, two postero-dorsal light-organs, no ink-sac. These specimens, here assigned to the new genus and species Vampyronassa rhodanica, still differ from recent Vampyromorpha by their two first dorsal sessile arms clearly longer than the others, their more important funnel and their longer and slightly more spindle-like body. This characteristic Middle Jurassic vampyromorph leads to admit a much older origin for this cephalopod order. The probably mesopelagic mode of life of this new vampyromorph is then tentatively examined. Critical arguments about the assignment to Vampyromorpha of three large teuthid-like species from the Upper Jurassic of Germany are developed.
Ah, yes.
The cost of articles is terrible, unless of course you are a student of a university as I am. :smile: Free access is good. However, in the full article the last english word you get is in the abstract. Altavista will probably get you an idea of what it all means. Also it's 700k or so whereas the attachment size for these messages is limited. I'll try the message service to get it to you. Also, yeah, the tiny blob at the very end of the cone appears to be the flap. It's somewhat poorly defined, since all the material was pyrite replaced and probably the flaps were almost if not sticking together while that took place.
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