Color of ancient cephalopod ink
Simon, John D. Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Glass, Keely Department of Chemistry, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
Ito, Shosuke Fujita Health University, Toyoake aichi, Japan.
Wilbur, Philip British Geological Survey, Nottingham, United Kingdom.
- Melanin as a coloring agent
- Biomarker preservation
- Morphological evidence for melanin in fossils
- Chemical evidence for melanin in fossils
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Coleoids are members of the cephalopod subclass Coleoidea. They include octopods, squids, cuttlefish, and the extinct belemnites. Chemical techniques have revealed that the ink sacs found in some Jurassic-age coleoids contained pigment that was dark brown to black in color. This 160 million-year-old ink is chemically similar to that found in the ink sacs of modern cuttlefish and is the oldest melanin known in the fossil record.
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