It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Ink found in Jurassic-era squid

page: 1

log in


posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 02:11 AM

Palaeontologists have drawn with ink extracted from a preserved fossilised squid uncovered during a dig in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.

The fossil, thought to be 150 million years old, was found when a rock was cracked open, revealing the one-inch-long black ink sac.

A picture of the creature and its Latin name was drawn using its ink.

Dr Phil Wilby of the British Geological Survey said it was an ancient creature similar to the modern-day squid.

Just when you think that nothing else could ever surprise you, nature comes along and gives you a big slap in the face... you soon wake up!

This is an incredible find. All that time encased in rock and yet we are able to draw a picture using the ink this animal has carried for all this time.

There must be something about the chemical composition of the ink or its sack that has allowed this to happen.

Where could this lead to? Could we find a method for practical use for Humans, such as deep space travel or some other method of preservation?

It would be interesting to know the difference between the ink in this squid and modern squid. How many more are there?

posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 07:05 AM
Very interesting, although I do not think that the ink they found was in fact a preserved liquid as the title may imply.

I believe that only the pigments have survived within fossilized rock, which they have liquefied with a solvent of sorts and thus painted with.

"It is difficult to imagine how you can have something as soft and sloppy as an ink sac fossilised in three dimension..."

They have discovered the ink sac 'fossilized', which would imply that it is no longer liquid.

The photograph on the page also appears to show a rock ink sac, rather than a liquid one.

"It is difficult to imagine how you can have something as soft and sloppy as an ink sac..."
This statement may seem to indicate that the sample was soft and sloppy, but rather, they are actually discussing the consistency of the inc sac in the living organism, not in the fossil.

posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 01:50 PM
It's a great story, but killed part of a thread I was gonna try and write. Still, that's life! The Modulus is right to point out that the ink was solidified and they used solution before they could draw the squid and write it's name..

To mark the occasion the scientists used the squid’s own ink to draw a picture of it and wrote the specimen’s Latin name, Belemnotheutis antiquus. Before it could be used, the pitch-black ink had to be returned to liquid form with a solution of ammonia. The amazing preservation was the result of what palaeontologists call the Medusa effect - an unusually fast process of fossilisation — as the creatures turned to stone so quickly.

I love science snippets like these

posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 02:10 PM
reply to post by Kandinsky

Oh my.. sorry to hear it killed something you were trying to do.. I have experienced this a few times myself

I hope you can find a way to complete your thread and still use the info.

Thanks to you both for making sure we are all aware that they had to liquify the ink ... still an amazing concept.. to be able to do that after all this time.
Incredible really when you think about it.. especially when you know what happens to fluids in dead bodies.. Makes you wonder how fast the squid was encapsulated and how it retained the ink..

Odd stuff indeed...

posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 02:02 AM
Yes it is still incredible indeed.

And quite an informative discovery, that the ink of the octopus/squid ancestors evolved these ink defensive systems quite early in their evolution, and have remained unchanged for all this time.

It's obviously quite an effective adaptation.

top topics

log in