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Belemnites - assorted favourites from my collection


TqB

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Belemnites have been my core interest for decades, starting as an 8 year old kid when I saw and bought the pointy end of a large Cylindroteuthis in a curio shop (I still have it :) ). This led eventually to being able to research some Lower Jurassic ones for my Ph.D at university. I pursued another career after that (musical instrument repair and restoration) but palaeontology has remained a fairly fanatical interest ever since.

Most of my early collection (including nearly all the research stuff) has been lost for various reasons but I've been able to replace much of it and added many new forms with field trips and purchases.

 

So I'll start this thread with a few species from the Lower Lias, Lower Pliensbachian Stage, that first made me realise that not all belemnites look the same.

This was a time of sudden diversity for the group. Earlier species (Sinemurian) are small and of low diversity, mostly belonging to the genus Nannobelus (= "dwarf dart"). (I'll do those later).

 

All from the Charmouth Mudstone Formation, Stonebarrow Marl Member (formerly "Belemnite Marls"). Charmouth, Dorset, UK. 

Jamesoni Zone, Polymorphus Subzone.

 

Bairstowius junceus/longissimus (Phillips, Miller). (junceus is the currently accepted name for the large form and longissimus for small, slender ones. The small ones appear to be immature individuals so they should probably all be longissimus which has priority.)

IMG_3658.thumb.jpeg.55ea4086dbeda510bac6ad45bc278c73.jpeg

 

A group all collected from the same small fallen block - almost certainly all the same species.

(A large collection shows a complete series of intermediate forms, though probable sexual dimorphism divides fatter and thinner adults.)

IMG_3657.jpeg.5fd5ec7b3c3898629452bf60d572c42c.jpeg

 

 

From the same beds - the scarce Coeloteuthis (Clastoteuthis) abrupta (Coeloteuthis is an awkward genus that needs revision - a bit complicated, but basically the original type specimen has been lost and the genus has ended up being based on a lectotype that is a different species and probably genus, and even family...)

IMG_3483.thumb.jpeg.b6803f01ecd54fe9882a7bd3c34924a9.jpeg

 

Just for comparison: "normal" belemnites - species of Passaloteuthis - exist in the same beds and are common. Here are two(?) species, the top two specimens probably being variants of one.

IMG_3665.thumb.jpeg.2d4a1fcef2cc8e14b048fca2fcf3dce4.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

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Tarquin, I didn't want to usurp your topic.  I have a very nice looking belemnite with an orange color that I have been trying to identify.  Should I post it under an ID request or can I post it here so you can possibly help identify?

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26 minutes ago, Ruger9a said:

Tarquin, I didn't want to usurp your topic.  I have a very nice looking belemnite with an orange color that I have been trying to identify.  Should I post it under an ID request or can I post it here so you can possibly help identify?

No problem but an ID request is better as more people will see it. I have many more belemnites to add on here! :) 

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Some Nannobelus acutus from the Sinemurian stage. Apart from a few very rare Hettangian specimens, these simple forms are the first belemnites to appear in Europe. (They used to be thought to be the first in the world but there's a couple of recent papers describing earlier, more diverse forms from the Pacific area. Not well known yet though and more information would be good. And there are other possibles but not very certain.)

 

They aren't generally spectacular but I have two specimens that are more complete and solid than usual in the alveolar region, from Charmouth nodules, recently found and prepped by the same preparator. They're the only ones with this preservation I've seen though there must be others out there - it tends to be the ammonites people prep for! 

 

Obtusum Zone, Stellare Subzone, Charmouth (I've shown this before as a topic.) Belemnite is 45mm long.

IMG_3421.thumb.jpeg.74e4a4ce14a17c30af1b01c791e44c2f.jpeg

 

This one is shown with a more typical specimen from a shale (actually Yorkshire coast). Both Obtusum Zone and Subzone.

IMG_3562.thumb.jpeg.b599a9c279b4576794ed79d2c41a0ec5.jpeg

 

And another typical specimen, also from the north Yorkshire coast, upper Semicostatum Zone (Scipionanum/Sauzeanum Subzone)

5eac347b6a6ca_IMG_2822text.thumb.jpg.b83fa3f130ddc40e6a01ed63c7fbe828.jpg

 

 

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What a great collection, and your knowledge of these htings is an added bonus.  Someday, I hope to have the same level of knowledge about many of my finds (think Eocene mammals).  meanwhile, hope you have more to show us.  

 

 

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Very impressive!  Looking forward to seeing more.  Do you have any recommended reading material (links) that I could review?  I would like to get a little more familiar with them.  Thanks in advance.

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Yup, more please.

And more. :):popcorn:

Always good to see knowledgeable people showing their love and knowledge of often underappreciated taxa. 

And some of these are beautiful to boot. 

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Life's Good!

Tortoise Friend.

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On 01/05/2020 at 2:35 PM, ricardo said:

Great Belemnites :dinothumb:

Thank you!

 

20 hours ago, Allosaurus said:

These are beautiful!

Thank you!

 

20 hours ago, jpc said:

What a great collection, and your knowledge of these htings is an added bonus.  Someday, I hope to have the same level of knowledge about many of my finds (think Eocene mammals).  meanwhile, hope you have more to show us.  

 

 

Thank you, plenty more!

 

19 hours ago, Ruger9a said:

Very impressive!  Looking forward to seeing more.  Do you have any recommended reading material (links) that I could review?  I would like to get a little more familiar with them.  Thanks in advance.

Thank you! Most detailed information is scattered through journals, as usual, some available online. This is a very good introduction to the group:

https://tonmo.com/articles/belemnites-a-quick-look.35/

 

19 hours ago, Ludwigia said:

Tarquin, it's great to see you doing this for us! :popcorn:

A pleasure, Roger. I've been meaning to start a thread for a long time but wasn't sure how to begin - keeping with a few favourites and roughly following the timeline is the plan, at least to begin with. :)

 

16 hours ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

Yup, more please.

And more. :):popcorn:

Always good to see knowledgeable people showing their love and knowledge of often underappreciated taxa. 

And some of these are beautiful to boot. 

Thank you, Adam! I'm increasingly appreciating how little I know and the taxonomy is often very convoluted. I expect this is the same for most groups. :)

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A small selection of a very common Lower Jurassic, Pliensbachian genus, Subhastites.

(For a long time, often called Hastites clavatus and a few other species of Hastites. The original 1820 type material is later though, probably M. Jurassic, Aalenian, hence the new genus for the Pliensbachian ones. Complicated story, as usual!)

 

Evolutionarily interesting as very, very rare (2?) specimens of this type are known from the Hettangian (earliest Jurassic) so they had already diverged from the mainstream Nannobelus/Passaloteuthis stock. Hettangian belemnites are super rare anyway (I've never found one) - they only become common a little above the base of the Sinemurian. (At least in the European area, once thought to be the cradle of belemnite evolution but that's not the case according to some recent publications.)

 

I won't try to name the species here, there are several possibilities and I'm trying to work out which to apply! Individual species appear to be very varied at a given horizon.

 

A stocky one, north Yorkshire coast.

upper Jamesoni/Ibex Zones

IMG_3654.thumb.jpeg.4c7113e52600be78bab7dda53900f30a.jpeg

 

More slender, north Yorkshire coast, Ibex Zone, Luridum Subzone

IMG_3661.jpeg.9c30b2c31219a4c84d44ca1a6ab94d8c.jpeg

 

 

Charmouth, Dorset. ,Charmouth Mudstone Formation, Seatown Marl Member ("Green Ammonite Beds"). 

Davoei Zone, Maculatum Subzone

The poorly calcified alveolar region is typical of some sorts of belemnite through the Jurassic and Cretaceous - I think these are the earliest to show it. 

IMG_3667.thumb.jpeg.0c3165a14423996c9751ecd7dd0062f9.jpeg 

 

This one is very similar to some Bairstowius in its size and less inflated rostrum. Bairstowius is a slightly earlier and often much larger hastitid (see first post).

Charmouth.

Ibex Zone, Valdani Subzone

IMG_3662.jpeg.623ec2aad859822bc4f46ae3a832c745.jpeg

 

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  • JohnJ pinned this topic
27 minutes ago, Ludwigia said:

Dear Mods & Admins. @Kane @digit @Fossildude19 Could you please pin this thread? Tarquin is giving us some valuable information here.

 

Indeed!  Done.

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The human mind has the ability to believe anything is true.  -  JJ

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Wow greatly interesting thread and very beautiful specimens thanks Tarquin. 
 

all the best Bobby 

 

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2 hours ago, RuMert said:

Very nice specimens looking like needles/artifacts

Kids around here call them fossil bullets.  They are abundant in local marine Jurassic hillsides.  

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On 02/05/2020 at 7:49 PM, Ruger9a said:

Thank you Tarquin!  Enjoyed reading the posts.

Thank you, glad to share the interest. :)

23 hours ago, Ludwigia said:

Dear Mods & Admins. @Kane @digit @Fossildude19 Could you please pin this thread? Tarquin is giving us some valuable information here.

 

23 hours ago, JohnJ said:

 

Indeed!  Done.

Thank you, Roger & John, I'm honoured! Better try to up my game a bit... subzones added where I can. :D

 

23 hours ago, Bobby Rico said:

Wow greatly interesting thread and very beautiful specimens thanks Tarquin. 
 

all the best Bobby 

 

Thanks, Bobby, I'll try to keep it growing. :)

21 hours ago, RuMert said:

Very nice specimens looking like needles/artifacts

Thank you, I've always been drawn to the thin ones. :)

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Tarquin's spectacular opus should also be included for future reference:

 

Bolton, J.T.F.S. 1982

The Ontogeny, Palaeobiology and Systematic Palaeontology of some Lower Liassic Belemnitida.

PhD Thesis, Durham University, 270 pp. 29 plts.  PDF LINK

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Beautiful collection. I didn’t knew there was such a wide variety of belemnites species in Charmouth.

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14 hours ago, piranha said:

Tarquin's spectacular opus should also be included for future reference:

 

Bolton, J.T.F.S. 1982

The Ontogeny, Palaeobiology and Systematic Palaeontology of some Lower Liassic Belemnitida.

PhD Thesis, Durham University, 270 pp. 29 plts.  PDF LINK

Thank you! A lot of the names in that need revision but I think the morphometric stuff is largely OK. All done without computers! - they were just available, but you had to programme them with punch cards. :D

 

6 hours ago, Jose Montemayor said:

Beautiful collection. I didn’t knew there was such a wide variety of belemnites species in Charmouth.

Thank you - it's a wonderful fauna, and I'm sad to see the old "Belemnite Marls" replaced by "Stonebarrow Marl Member", although obviously desirable for rigour and location.

 

2 hours ago, Natalie81 said:

Thank you for this thread, I love those creatures ! 

Thank you, Natalie, me too! - I think we might have crossed paths online already? 

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Staying in the Davoei Zone (top zone of the Lower Lias) - the common belemnites are Subhastites (last post) and Passaloteuthis.

 

A block of mostly Passaloteuthis elongata? (Miller) from the Staithes Sandstone Formation of the north Yorkshire coast. A shallow water formation, with frequent storm deposits full of shells including belemnites, this is a somewhat denser accumulation of belemnites than normal. (It also includes a couple of Subhastites.)

Roughly 35cm/14" square.

Davoei Zone, probably Figulinum Subzone.

IMG_3310.thumb.jpeg.6d38562beea9b2655ba6d64a2b2743b4.jpeg

 

A little older, from the Charmouth Seatown Marl Member (Green Ammonite Beds).

Many of the belemnites from this bed have this shiny preservation, with no preparation required other than a scrub in water. Pieces of crushed phragmocone are quite common and I rather like the displaced phragmocone specimen below.

Passaloteuthis elongata? Maculatum Subzone 

IMG_3669.jpeg.c6fae01efcac11ace1ac25e73e50481c.jpeg

 

This one shows the ventro-lateral apical furrow well, characteristic of the genus.

IMG_3674.thumb.jpeg.625cb126b5bff2506bc81c89aaf27418.jpeg

 

This is about as large as I've seen for this species - same beds as above despite the different preservation involving a coat of cemented clay particles (hard to remove - I've never bothered.).

Maculatum Subzone

IMG_3670.jpeg.0227954d9ca7d98ba8ef5271bc173ab5.jpeg 

 

 

 

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A couple of Davoei Zone rarities from Charmouth again.

 

This is the only Coeloteuthis palliata (Dumortier 1869) I've ever found. (Thanks to Roger @Ludwigia for suggestin the species! It was described originally as "Middle Lias" so I'd missed it but back then that included Davoei Zone.)

Maculatum Subzone

IMG_3663.thumb.jpeg.ad81860f89c513bb51a34ef564645744.jpegIMG_3664.thumb.jpeg.d41b64d82132ec88afd1b31d24d32bf3.jpeg

 

Fairly rare in the UK and seemingly confined to the south (so none in Yorkshire) is Gastrobelus umbilicatus (Blainville 1827) (formerly often called G. ventroplanus (Voltz)).

Distinguished partly by a total lack of apical furrows.

Maculatum Subzone

IMG_3668.thumb.jpeg.5f6a5f49597d927a96858362673cd3da.jpeg

 

Edited by TqB
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