Petrified octopus tentacle


May 25, 2004
I'm a collector of many things and I have had this "petrified octopus tentacle" longer than I can remember. It used to have it's scientific name on a small sticky tab but is long gone. In researching I found all you Ceph heads. Gotta love the web. Anyway....I'm attaching 2 pics. One front view and an end view w/ a Megalodon tooth. Does anyone know it's "technical" name? or possibly what era it came from.
Thank you very much.
Hi LLTT and :welcome: to TONMO!

I'm afraid what you have there is not an octopus tentacle but you are certainly in the right place on a cephalopod site! The fossil is a fragment of a straight shelled ammonite called Baculites. This was a heteromorph ammonite which grew in a coil in its juvenile stage but developed its long straight shell as it matured.

Baculites, literally "walking stick rock" was a common form of ammonite in the late Cretaceous seas. It grew up to 2 metres long and is thought to have lived in a vertical orientation with the head hanging straight downwards. As there is no counterweight to the head at the apex of a complete shell, researchers believe that this was the only way the animal could have been orientated, so the animal could have swum vertically but probably very poorly, if at all, horizontally.

The animal is one of the youngest ammonites known, ranging from the Turonian to the Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous (i.e 93-65mya) and has a worldwide distribution. In some deposits they are common fossils and are thought to have lived in great shoals. One strange feature about these animals is that it is believed that the males were a third to a half the size of the females and had much lighter ribbing on the surface of the shell.

Nice find! If you know exactly where it came from , I'm sure we can pin-point the date more accurately. Here are two pictures attached of some Baculites on the seabed from the University of Michigan displays.

Hope that helps and is some interest,


(By the way, you have posted the same photo twice!)
Thank you kindly for such a detailed reply. The info is amazing as are the pointy headed sea dudes. The second attachment is a fantastic image!
So sorry about same pic x2. Here is the correct one as it is interesting as well. Great site! I wish there were more out there with the same caliber as Tonmo. I Thank you soooooo much.
p.s. Is my fossil part of Baculite's shell or his organic squishy part?
Mega Thanx!
You are welcome, LLTT!

That is definitely the shell of the animal, not the soft-bodied head. As you may know the ammonite shell consisted of a series of body chambers that contained gas that kept the animal bouyant. These chambers were connected together by a tiny tube that connected with the head of the animal which lived in the last chamber; that way the ammonite could regulate the gas levels in each chamber to regulate bouyancy, in a manner exactly the same as the Nautilus does today. The walls of these chambers form the crinkle-pattern you can see on your fossil, this is different in all species of ammonite and can be seen as a 'fingerprint', used to identify individual species.

If you did have the head it would be very interesting indeed; no-one has yet discovered a convincing fossil of the soft-bodied animal so what the animal looked like can only be speculation. There is some evidence that it may have resembled a squid or an octopus in form, rather than a nautilus, but one knows for sure.

Great Megalodon tooth, by the way. :mrgreen: (jealous!)


prior to the boss replying I was going to suggest sutures but I'm shy, modest & a complete novice, but Phil came up with the goods, even having Baculites specimens in his tank at home ! :mrgreen:

Great fossil & do you really want to keep that dirty black tooth ?
Big dirty tooth and pointy headed dude from the ancient sea

Hi Phil and his worker bee spartacus, I appreciate your replies. If I decide to sell my specimans you will be the first I let know. I love my rocks and fossils (unaturally so.) I have been considering it and have been watching Megalodons on ebay sell very well. Good coin yet much less expensive than a fossil shop. Tho the rent monster is breathing down my neck I clutch my fossils with a boney death grip. Now I am closer than ever to my Baculites little dude, being I finally know his name and history. Alas........
LLTT = Lynnette Lyman's Trailer Trash = LLs Trailer Trash >a new ebay store. aka Tracey W.
Peace out....keep in guys are way cool.

the attachment is one of my creepy crawler specimans. Made him myself with a Mattel 1964 Thingmaker. You are probably too young to remember Creepy Crawlers....I have an Octopus mold......
Buzz buzz LLTT, you're most :welcome: but I don't recall any mention of
monetary exchange. With 2 dogs, a parrot & me making Jurassic dust, this place is a mess, ideal for a mucky black shark tooth.
NEVER SELL YOUR PRECIOUS :x you'll regret it forever !
I was given a selection of Eocene shark teeth, after the event was told I'd have to hand over something Jurassic in exchange :shock: give over Eocene is modern !
When collecting in Lyme Regis & I'm as skint as Phil, having spent my pocket money on lamb dansak & Chinese take-away I always take a big lump of Jurassic goodness home for my mates to chip at to see if they can find a monster in it, trouble is I never have yet got to hand any of it over so I know what it is to be possessive !!
The Mattel thingmaker looks almost as cool as me & Phil :oops: & it
just so happens in 1964 I popped out of my Mummy's tummy ! :baby:

spiders & octopus hmmm, I love spiders too & I'm struggling to resist....
:roll: Dear Spartucus....I concur for I love my ancient treasures more than anything. When I get my creepy lab back up and running....(just moved) I will create a crustaceous creepy for you and snail mail it :biggrin2:
If I were on the other side of the sea I would be helping you chip away at your chunks of the ancient ones but alas, for now I am imprisoned in the urban sprawl of man-made waste....(tho lots of cool junk to root thru) hence my new store :bonk: I love these little emoticons. Must run...a dumpster (large waste bin) awaits my swan dive where I find my modern conveinances of clothing and furniture. :bugout:
Best to you, the dogs and bird.
LLTT, fandabbydozy !! 8)
Urban sprawl not for me, off to rural backwaters of la France soonest but
there's little chance of the type of treasure you seek.
Have perused your wares & am particularly attracted to the Luichiny platforms but alas :cry: from multiple "motorbike meets car events" my ankles & knees are not as robust as they once were & I must refrain from bidding :boohoo:
Best of luck with your dumpster rummage, I hope it is a veritable Alladin's cave.
All the best back atcha !

ooh, nearly forgot, attached is piccy of suturing on a Cleoniceras Besairei from the wooly wilds of Madagascar

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