Trachyteuthis

Phil

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The geology of Lebanon certainly helps to understand the context of this fossil. There is a very interesting website here which describes the geology in detail. However to draw out most relevant details:

During the Early Cretaceous period Lebanon was covered in a series of swamps, rivers and deltas, producing sequences of sands and shales that in places built up to levels of 500m thick. During the later part of the Early Cretaceous the sea level began to rise resulting in the widespread growths of reefs on top of these sands resulting in limestone deposition, the supply of sands almost completely switching off by the mid-Cretaceous. A major tectonic upheaval occurred in the mid-Cretaceous with the advance of the Africa-Arabia plate towards the Eurasian plate causing the closure of the Tethys ocean. Although not in the direct impact area, due to the compressional effects of the collision the first uplifting took place in Lebanon leading to the uplift of Mount Lebanon and the surrounding area. The fossil deposits such as the Mount Hajoula lagerstatt were deposited at this time, and there were widespread deposition of thick sequences of pale fine limestones and chalks. The lagerstatt formed in local areas of oxygen shortage close to the edge of the carbonate platform.

In common with the Black Sea of today and the comparative Solnhofen deposits it seems likely that there was a clear boundary between the oxygenated upper waters and above the stagnant anoxic sea-bed. This would explain why animals falling onto the sediment were free from predation. Any marine animal that dived too deeply would quickly find itself in trouble, and it seems likely that most fossils, such as this Trachyteuthis, were animals that probably drifted down after dying from natural causes. It is interesting that these animals show little sign of disarticulation which implies they must have drifted down quickly and become buried in sediment fairly rapidly too. Due to the abundance of fish fossils in these deposits it may be reasonable to suppose that the anoxic layer was probably close to the sea bed.

This lagerstatt, or site of exceptional preservation, is probably one the top twenty sites in the world for preservation. Lebanese fossil beds are exclusively marine and dinosaur fossils are practically unknown.

Geology of Lebanon:

http://almashriq.hiof.no/ddc/projects/geology/geology-of-lebanon/
 


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Trachyteuthis

Just a bit of warning......be VERY careful when purchasing fossils from certain localities (Green River, Lebanon, Solnhofen, Liaoning). Quite often the specimens are enhanced by painting them. This is especially common with certain Lebanese cretaceous specimens. I have photos of lobsters I have had fresh out of the quarry that are perfect, but they don't come close in appearance to what they look like after they have been painted and sold by other dealers. Not all dealers in Lebanese fossils do this, but many do, so be aware! The material I sell comes straight out of the quarry, and is never artificially enhanced.
 


Architeuthoceras

Architeuthis
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Hi Michael,

You wouldn't happen to have a picture of a squid that came out of the quarry, one that wasn't painted up, so we could see and compare. I know alot of fossils, especially rare or complex, have some restoration done just to make them more marketable.
 
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painted lebanese fossils

As I just joined the list, I am not sure how to post photos of items to it. I don't have the time right this moment to figure out how to do it, so if anyone wants to see the difference between pained and non paineted Lebanese material, email me at
[email protected]
and I will email you some pics...and of an octopus I currently have now. And some other octopus and squid specimens as well if you like!
 

Phil

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If anyone is interested in learning about Trachyteuthis, an interesting .pdf file has been put online and is available here:

http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~palaeont/palbio3/10.pdf

Of particular interest is the two pairs of fins that are visible in exceptionally well preserved adult specimens. This groups Trachyteuthis with the vampyromorphs.
 

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