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As with living animals, belemnites are classified into species and genera singl. The proper scientific name of a particular belemnite consists of the name of the species, preceded by the name of the genus to which it belongs, plus the name of the first person to describe it and the date of that description. Belemnite genera are distinguished by a combination of shape characteristics and surface features, such as grooves.

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Species are mainly distinguished on the basis of shape, size, growth characteristics and surface features. With experience and care, even a fragment of a rostrum may be identified as a particular genus. Many belemnite genera have names ending in -teuthis ; this is the Ancient Greek word for squid. Belemnite morphology showing some descriptive terms. Belemnites can be useful tools for the geologist.

The robust composition of their rostra means that they often survive where other fossils are destroyed. For instance, many fossils are found in sedimentary rocks , but belemnites may also be preserved in metamorphic rocks. In this respect, they are superior to their contemporaries—the ammonites —which are the primary guide fossils for Jurassic and Cretaceous stratigraphy and correlation.

In the earliest Jurassic, belemnites were restricted to the European area but from then onwards, they had a worldwide distribution, and, potentially, they can be used for correlation on a global scale. However, as with the ammonites, this can be hampered by faunal provincialism. Where rocks contain many belemnites, it is common to find them aligned in a particular orientation; this indicates the direction of current prevalent during the deposition of the original sediment on the sea floor otherwise known as the palaeocurrent.

The Slow Carbon Cycle

Belemnites have also been used to tell geologists something about the climate during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. By measuring, in the laboratory, the oxygen-isotope ratios of the calcite in the belemnite rostrum, the geologist can estimate the temperature of the sea water in which the belemnite lived otherwise known as the palaeotemperature. Belemnites were one of the first fossil groups to be used in this way because of their rostra were thought to be resistant to chemical change during diagenesis the transformation of a sediment into rock.

Although the number of protons and electrons in oxygen atoms is always the same eight each , the number of neutrons can be eight, nine or ten. These three differently composed atoms are called oxygen isotopes 16 O, 17 O and 18 O.

Synergy of Mg 2+ and poly(aspartic acid) in additive-controlled calcium carbonate precipitation

On average, the 16 O to 18 O ratio in today's oceans is about but it is highly sensitive to temperature. Consequently, if the oxygen isotope ratio present in the calcium carbonate of a shell is known, an indication of the ocean temperature in which it lived can be obtained.

Late Cretaceous belemnites genera Belemnella, Belemnitella and Gonioteuthis are used as stratigraphical markers in Campanian and Maastrichtian rocks, where species of these genera give their names to subdivisions known as zones. In Cenomanian rocks, a species of belemnite gives its name to the unit known as the Plenus Marls formerly the Belemnite Beds.

This unit forms a widespread marker in the Chalk Group throughout southern and eastern England, northern France and beneath the southern North Sea, and is important for correlation. Belemnites also give their name to plus metres of Jurassic rocks on the coast of Dorset. These are the Belemnite Marls, of Pliensbachian age, which can be seen in the cliffs near Charmouth. Belemnites are the best preserved fossils in this interval, and include the genera Angeloteuthis, Bairstowius, Hastites, Passaloteuthis and Pseudohastites.

Belemnites take their name from the Greek word belemnon meaning dart or javelin. The fossilised rostra were widely believed to have been flung down as darts from heaven during thunderstorms thunderbolts.

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Some have a finger-like shape e. Dactyloteuthis —from the Greek word daktylos meaning finger and, in folklore, they have been called Devil's Fingers and St Peter's Fingers. As with other fossils, belemnites have been thought to have medicinal powers. These varied from region to region, but included remedies for rheumatism and sore eyes, and a cure for intestinal stones in horses. Belemnite rostra have often been referred to as 'fossil bullets' because of their pointed conical shape.

Perhaps because of this, mass accumulations of rostra are called 'belemnite battlefields'. Some of these are thought to be the result of mass death after mating. This phenomenon is common in living squid which migrate to an ancestral spawning ground to mate—the culmination of their lives—and then die. Belemnites were a tasty meal for many marine reptiles such as ichthyosaurs, and large fish such as sharks. The fossilised stomach contents of these creatures commonly contain belemnite arm hooks, but rarely rostra. This suggests that either the unpalatable rostra were regurgitated after being eaten or that the head was the only part of the belemnite to be devoured.

However, one fossil shark, from the Toarcian rocks of southern Germany, has been found with over rostra in its stomach; maybe it died of indigestion! The largest belemnite rostrum known comes from Indonesia. It is about 46 centimetres long; the animal itself must have been four to five metres long. Figures from this paper. Citations Publications citing this paper. Investigation of scale inhibitors effect on calcium carbonate nucleation process Raghda Hamdi , Mohamed Mouldi Tlili.

Nonclassical crystallization in vivo et in vitro II : Nanogranular features in biomimetic minerals disclose a general colloid-mediated crystal growth mechanism. References Publications referenced by this paper. Calcium carbonate: from the Cretaceous period into the 21st century, ed.

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Geyssant , E. Huwald , D. Lowenstam, On Biomineralization.

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