Sordes's ceph fossils from Tubingen, Germany


TONMO Supporter
Nov 19, 2002
Sordes has very kindly sent me some stunning images of what must surely be the greatest collection of fossil cephalopods on public display anywhere in the world. They were all taken at the Palaeontological Institute at the University of Tubingen in Germany.

Thanks Markus! As the originals were quite dark I've lightened most of them and cropped a few, hope that's OK. Enjoy!



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More ammonites. The large ammonite is a cast of the giant Pachydiscus.


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I'd imagine that these are all from the Jurassic Solnhofen deposits. Not convinced by the two tentacles, but the internal arrangement of the strange three-part shell is shown off very nicely indeed here.

I think that's Trachyteuthis in the top picture, but I wouldn't put too much money on it...This weird thing has features of both the belemnites and the cuttlefish.


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Lovely fossils displaying belemnoid hooks and indicating the fan of the arms. The pairs of hooks on the arms are quite clear to see. (Wish I'd had these images to use when I knocked that video up!)

Thanks again Sordes, you are a complete star!


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Thank you for posting the pictures Phil!
There are also several other nice cephalopod-fossils, but many pictures didn´t look good because they were not sharp or had reflections from the vitirnes. There are also many other fossils of invertebrates and vertebrates, most of them are from Germany (for examplae the wonderful ichthyosaurs from Holzmaden), but there are also some other very nice fossils like the world-famous Liopleurodon ferox skeleton (which is from England).
There are some other museums around here like the Museum in Holzmaden and the Löwentor-Museum in Stuttgart which have also a very interesting collection of fossil invertebrates. I´m no specialist in fossil cephalopods, I´m more interested in vertebrates and for a long time I didn´t take much cognizance of all the cephalopods, so I can´t tell you more about all the other treassures which are also in this museum.
Gorgeous collection. I wish I'd been a more active paleo-nut when I lived in Germany as a teenager, but unfortunately, all I could think of at that time was girls! Well, and ancient warfare.
I have no idea, perhaps in the Museum in Solnhofen, but that´s in Bavaria and it´s about 10 years ago when I visited this museum for the last time.
I can very well remember how I was searching for fossils in a stone pit in the near of this museum (they said there are many fossils), but nearly nobody found any true fossils (one guy found a small ammonite), there were only "fake plant", this mineral inlays which look a bit like fern. All I did get were bloody hands and a wet back.
Yesterday I was in the special exhibition of the Löwentor-Museum Stuttgart. I made some perhaps interesting photos of cephalopods. I did not want to open a new thread for it, so I´ll post them in this thread. This ammonite with the barnacels is really the most ugly one I have ever seen...But okay, perhaps some of the longer-living ammonites had really such things on their shells. The Germanonautilus is also interesting, and it is really sad that there is no longer such a radiation of nautilus species. I like also especially the male belemnite with the huge onychites. You can also see, that its arms must haven been very thick.


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Great photos Sordes! I have found very few fossils with epizoans, and I dont know if i have ever seen a photo of Nautilus with epizoans, perhaps they only really grew on abandoned shells??
Any scale for that belemnite and jaw apparatus? it's gigantic!
Are you sculpting that Germanonautilus?
The plate with the belemnite was about 30cm in length or so. But the "jaws" are actually no jaws at all, but the onychits of the male belemenites, which were probably used to hold the female during mating.

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