Naked Ammonite Fossil Found Without a Shell for the First Time

If you’ve ever caught a mid-danger dash from your birthday suit, bathroom to bedroom, you can sympathize with a fossil that was recently identified as an ammonite that was committed to an immortal fossil record without turning on its shell. You might think of the word volunteer – published in the Swiss Journal of Paleontology – it’s an unusual thing, and you’re right. Usually the soft tissue does not survive the preservation process.

Rare specimens with soft tissues have moved out of the permafrost, and sometimes fossils are found in drabs and soft-tissue-markings that are still attached (sometimes even a butthole). So how can a (probably once wet and squishy) shell-free ammonite survive one and a half million years?

It is believed that the soft tissue was finally the male perisphinctid ammonite from the beginning of the Tithonian. The researchers were skeptical because one of the evidence in the spermatophores was that abnormal specimens remained. Due to the special generation conditions in the marine basins of the Solnhofen Islands, squishy ammonite interiors have survived so long, where we have a naked mollusk. It was a rocky road for Christian Klug and colleagues to discover the pattern and put a label on parts of its components. Considering all other ammonites are known for their shells (called conch), there is no shortage. The exception was the morphological presence of a jaw that is characteristic of Subplanites ammonites.

Klug said in an interview with New Scientist, “I wasn’t very sure what that was.”
“I recognized the esophagus, then the stomach. After that, I saw coprolite [fossil feces] in its gut, so it was clear too. Then I identified the gills and finally got the reproductive organs. “

The other big question was: why was this striker swimming without turning on the shell? Researchers have suggested two theories. One is that the ammonite suffers from a condition or disease those results in the division of the tissues that kept the conch in the animal’s body, meaning that the shell spontaneously slips one day. The other was that it was the result of a failed hunter attempt by a marine hunter who dropped the mouse ball while trying to free it from its shell. The unique specimen carries the idiom on one of the most famous fossils known to the conch, revealing for the first structure that is usually hidden inside the conch. 

If you’ve ever caught a mid-danger dash from your birthday suit, bathroom to bedroom, you can sympathize with a fossil that was recently identified as an ammonite that was committed to an immortal fossil record without turning on its shell. You might think of the word volunteer – published in the Swiss Journal of Paleontology – it’s an unusual thing, and you’re right. Usually the soft tissue does not survive the preservation process.

Rare specimens with soft tissues have moved out of the permafrost, and sometimes fossils are found in drabs and soft-tissue-markings that are still attached (sometimes even a butthole). So how can a (probably once wet and squishy) shell-free ammonite survive one and a half million years?

It is believed that the soft tissue was finally the male perisphinctid ammonite from the beginning of the Tithonian. The researchers were skeptical because one of the evidence in the spermatophores was that abnormal specimens remained. Due to the special generation conditions in the marine basins of the Solnhofen Islands, squishy ammonite interiors have survived so long, where we have a naked mollusk. It was a rocky road for Christian Klug and colleagues to discover the pattern and put a label on parts of its components. Considering all other ammonites are known for their shells (called conch), there is no shortage. The exception was the morphological presence of a jaw that is characteristic of Subplanites ammonites.

Klug said in an interview with New Scientist, “I wasn’t very sure what that was.” “I recognized the esophagus, then the stomach. After that, I saw coprolite [fossil feces] in its gut, so it was clear too. Then I identified the gills and finally got the reproductive organs. “

The other big question was: why was this striker swimming without turning on the shell? Researchers have suggested two theories. One is that the ammonite suffers from a condition or disease those results in the division of the tissues that kept the conch in the animal’s body, meaning that the shell spontaneously slips one day. The other was that it was the result of a failed hunter attempt by a marine hunter who dropped the mouse ball while trying to free it from its shell. The unique specimen carries the idiom on one of the most famous fossils known to the conch, revealing for the first structure that is usually hidden inside the conch.