Orthocerida


Orthocerida
Orthocerida
Temporal range: Lower Ordovician–Upper Triassic
Orthoceras
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda
Subclass: Nautiloidea
Order: Orthocerida
Kuhn, 1940
Families

Orthoceratidae (=Michelinoceratidae)
Baltoceratidae
Geisonoceratidae
Proteoceratidae
Stereoplasmoceratidae
Clinoceratidae
Paraphragmitidae
Pseudorthoceratidae
Arionoceratidae
Lamellorthoceratidae

Orthocerida is an order of extinct nautiloid cephalopods also known as the Michelinocerda that lived from the Early Ordovician (490 million years ago) possibly to the Late Triassic (230 million years ago). A fossil found in the Caucasus suggests they may even have survived until the Early Cretaceous (150 million years ago). They were most common however from the Ordovician to the Devonian.

Contents

Shell form

The shell is usually long, and may be straight ("orthoconic") or gently curved. In life, these animals may have been similar to the modern squid, except for the long shell. The internal structure of the shell consists of concavo-convex chambers linked by a centrally-placed tube called a siphuncle. There is a tendency for the chambers to develop cameral deposits, which were used as ballast to balance the long gas-filled shell. Depending on the family, the siphuncle has orthochoanitic or cyrtochoanitic septal necks. The shell surface may be (depending on the species or genus) smooth, transversely ribbed, or ornamented by a network of fine lirae. Fossils are common and have been found on many continents, including the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Ecology

Orthocerids may have swum near the sea bed with their buoyant shell resting horizontally in the water, although some workers have suggested they floated more passively among the plankton or rested on the sea floor. Like modern cephalopods they would have used jet-propulsion for locomotion. However, the long bulky shell and relatively weak muscle attachments make it unlikely that they were as agile as ammonoids or modern cephalopods. They most likely fed on trilobites and small arthropods.

Taxonomy

Orthocerid taxonomy is based on characters found in the shell, principally in the nature of the siphuncle. It is not without its problems however since features can appear repeatedly by the process of homeomorphy (convergent evolution), making certain taxa appear to have a much longer stratigraphic range than in actuality.

A recent study of very well-preserved embryonic shells of the family Pseudorthoceratidae from the Mississippian (Lower Carboniferous) Imo Formation of Arkansas (Kröger and Mapes 2004) reveals that the morphologic diversity of the early growth stages of these creatures is more diverse than would be expected. Although this indicates that the Pseudorthoceratidae may be in need of revision, it also shows the value of embryonic shell morphology in understanding orthocerid phylogeny.

Evolutionary history

The orthocerids probably arose from the Baltoceratidae, a family of the Ellesmerocerida.

However, several workers have disputed the monophyly of the Orthocerida as traditionally defined, and some have criticized it as a "nightmare for taxonomists" lacking clearly defined characters. Orthocerida as usually understood may thus be a polyphyletic group, having arisen as several lineages from early Ordovician cephalopods. Some workers have split off the Pseudorthocerida and Dissidocerida as separate orders, the latter on the grounds that it arose from a different baltoceratid ancestor. The pseudorthocerids are thought to be distinct because their protoconch and septal necks are so different.

Orthocerids flourished in the Paleozoic Era, giving rise to such intriuging forms as the ascocerids and Lituites. Moreover, the spherical protoconch, or first chamber, of some orthocerids suggests they were ancestors to the Bactritida, small orthocones that spawned both the ammonoids and coleoids. Fossilized radulas from orthocerids also suggest a closer affinity with modern coleoids than with Nautilus. This implies that some orthocerids, such as the Lamellorthoceratidae, Arionoceratidae, Michelinoceratidae, and Sphaerorthoceras, belong in the same "Neocephalopoda" clade as coleoids and ammonoids.

There is some dispute when the orthocerids finally became extinct. Although they are often said to have survived into the Triassic Period, the two genera that date from that period may actually be pseudorthocerids. In that case, the last orthocerids may date only to the Permian. However, the discovery in the Caucasus of a possible orthocerid from the Early Cretaceous Period suggests that they may have endured much longer as a ghost lineage.

References

  • Doguzhaeva, Larisa (1994). "An Early Cretaceous orthocerid cephalopod from north-western Caucasus". Palaeontology 37 (4): 889–899. 
  • Kröger, Bjorn; Isakar, Mare (2006). "Revision of annulated orthoceridan cephalopods of the Baltoscandic Ordovician". Fossil Record 9 (1): 137–163. doi:10.1002/mmng.200600005. 
  • Kröger, Bjorn, & Mapes, R. (2004) Embryonic orthoceratid nautiloids of the Imo Formation (Lower Carboniferous-Upper Chesterian) of Arkansas (USA). Journal of Paleontology 78: 560-573, Iowa City. pdf; GSA presentation
  • Sweet, Walter C., (1964), Nautiloidea—Orthocerida, in Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology. Part K. Mollusca 3. (Geological Society of America, and University of Kansas Press, New York, New York and Lawrence, Kansas)

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Orthocerida —   Ortocéridos …   Wikipedia Español

  • Nautiloid — Nautiloids Temporal range: 495–0 Ma …   Wikipedia

  • Orthoceratidae — Temporal range: Ordovician Permian (possibly Triassic) Orthoceras Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • Orthoceratoidea — Temporal range: Lower Ordovician–Triassic …   Wikipedia

  • Cephalopod — Cephalopods Temporal range: Devonian – Recent[1] (Stem groups from Cambrian)[2] …   Wikipedia

  • Dawsonoceratidae — Temporal range: ?UOrd ?M Dev Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Mollusca Class …   Wikipedia

  • Orthoceras — For the orchid genus, see Taxonomy of the orchid family. Orthoceras Temporal range: 488–199.6 Ma …   Wikipedia

  • Choanoceratidae — Temporal range: M Silurian Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Mollusca Class …   Wikipedia

  • Cycloceras — Temporal range: Ordovician Permian Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Mollusca Class …   Wikipedia

  • Orthocerataceae — Temporal range: uL Ord L Cret Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Mollusca Class …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.