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.
to TONMO Will,
Thank you for posting the Photo, I think you have to post it to the gallery seperately. Any more close-ups of the little beastie would be well appreciated. Do you have access to the fossil?
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.
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.
The cost of articles is terrible, unless of course you are a student of a university as I am. 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.