Oct 1, 2006
Hi all,

I have plans to make a large illustration showcasing the diversity of ammonoids, possibly along with other shelled cephalopods. Something reminiscent to those 'prehistoric animals' lineup posters common for science classrooms, as seen here:

Incidentally, they will be reconstructions and may require a large number of speculative elements, given what we know about ammonoid soft bodies. I would like to emphasize the diversity of lifestyles and habitats, e.g. colorful reef(?) ammonites side by side with streamlined epipelagic species, along with planktonic heteromorphs. I know for sure I will include my personal favorite genera such as Parapuzosia, Placenticeras, and Turrilites.

I am also thinking of taking cues from living argonauts and other pelagic planktivorous/gelatinovorous cephalopods. This footage here shows them displaying their flared arm pairs, possibly acting like fins and providing some lift:

The issue being, I have no idea which species/genera should fit the designated niches. Does anyone have any recommendations for the following:
  1. Tropical reef dweller
  2. Algal raft-associated species (if any)
  3. Cold-water species (if any)
  4. Streamlined open water species, possibly predatory (Placenticeras?)
  5. Smaller pelagic species, possibly with iridescent shells
  6. Sexually dimorphic species
  7. Deep-sea dweller
  8. Planktonic genera (Heteromorphs?)
  9. Other unique niches perhaps?
On the matter of the genera I'd like to include, I still have no idea how to reliably depict Parapuzosia. What sort of ecosystem did it live in? Any guesses on its diet?

Furthermore, have we reached any consensus on how aptychi are supposed to function? How about the arms?

Any help will be very appreciated.

This is an interesting project. Hope you get some assistance.

The paper nautilus in the video move a lot more quickly than I imagined. I've only seen photos before.


Westermann, G.E.G., 1996. Ammonoid life and habitat. In: Landman, N.H., Tanabe,
K., Davis, R.A. (Eds.), Ammonoid paleobiology, Topics in Geobiology, volume 13.
Plenum Publishing, New York, pp. 607–707.

Should give you some great ideas. One of the finest and most concise proposals I've seen, has yet to be outdone in my opinion.
Hi all,

Thank you very much for your kind comments! And that's a very beautiful illustration by Takashi Ito - wish I can work with color pencils like that.

@Architeuthoceras I've been unable to obtain a copy of the publication, however I do have Klug et al.'s (2015) Ammonoid paleobiology: From anatomy to ecology, would that suffice? I do see numerous citations on Westermann's work in the book, including this very tantalizing snippet on speculative ejectile tentacles, Ancyloceratine umbrella-arms and velar webs.

I do have Tsujita & Westermann's (1998) Ammonoid habitats and habits in the Western Interior Seaway, which gave me some solid foundations for Placenticeras, Rhaeboceras, Baculites and scaphitids.

Are there any places online where I can download Westermann (1996) somehow?

I hope to update this thread with preliminary sketches quite soon!
Lukeneder, Alexander. Ammonoid habitats and life history. Ammonoid Paleobiology: From anatomy to ecology. Springer Netherlands, 2015. 689-791.

is OK,

but I would try to get a copy of Westermanns 1996 paper, interlibrary loan or something, any artist drawing ammonoids needs a copy :wink:

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