Paläontologische Zeitschrift

, 70:425 | Cite as

The Function of the Belemnite Guard

  • Neale Monks
  • J. David Hardwick
  • Andrew S. Gale


A reconstruction of the belemnite animal was performed onCylindroteuthis puzosiana (d’Orbigny) to locate the centres of buoyancy and mass. The gas inclusion was found to be sufficient to provide neutral buoyancy. The reconstruction was modified to represent a belemnite without a guard, and its mechanics compared with the real belemnite. A model of a belemnite was tested in a wind tunnel, and showed that fins on the rostrum could have been used to generate dynamic lift.


Wind Tunnel Lift Force Natural History Museum Callovian Posterior Chamber 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Anhand vonCylindroteuthis puzosiana (d’Orbigny) wurde ein Belemnitentier rekonstruiert, an dem Auftriebspunkt und Schwerpunkt bestimmt wurden. Die Gasfüllung des Phragmokons erwies sich als ausreichend für die Schwebfähigkeit des Tieres. Um die Bedeutung des Rostrums für die Schwebfähigkeit zu bestimmen, wurden physikalische Parameter eines Belemnitentieres ohne Rostrum berechnet. Ein Modell eines Belemnitentieres wurde im Windkanal getestet. Dabei zeigte es sich, daß Flossen am Rostrum zum Erzeugen von dynamischem Auftrieb gedient haben können.


  1. Alexander, R. McN. 1990. Animals. - 509 pp., Cambridge (Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  2. Chamberlain, J. A. 1991. Cephalopod locomotor design and evolution. The constraints of jet propulsion. - Society for Experimental Biology Seminar Series 36 [Biomechanics in Evolution]: 57–98, Cambridge (Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  3. Christensen, W. K. 1976. Palaeobiogeography of Late Cretaceous belemnites of Europe. - Paläontologische Zeitschrift50: 113–129, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  4. Denton, E.J. &Gilpin-Brown, J. B. 1971. Further observations on the buoyancy ofSpirula. - Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom51: 363–373, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  5. Doyle, P. 1985. Sexual dimorphism in the BelemniteYongibelus from the Lower Jurassic of Yorkshire. - Palaeontology28: 133–146, London.Google Scholar
  6. Flower, R. H. 1955. Cameral deposits in orthoconic nautiloids. - Geological Magazine92: 89–103, London.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Huxley, T. H. 1864. The Structure of Belemnitidae. - Memoir of the Geological Survey, U.K., Monograph2: 1–22.Google Scholar
  8. — 1877. A Manual of the Invertebrated Animals. - 698 pp., London (Churchill & Co).Google Scholar
  9. O’Dor, R. K.;Portner, H. O. &Shadwick, R. E. 1990. Squids as elite athletes. Locomotory, respiratory, and circulatory integration. - [In:]Gilbert, D.L.;Adelman, W.J. &Arnold, J. M. (eds.) Squid as Experimental Animals: 481–503, New York (Plenum Press).Google Scholar
  10. O’Dor, R. K.;Hoar, J. A.;Webber, D. M.;Carey, F. G.;Tanaka, S.;Martins, H. R. &Porteiro, F. M. 1994. Squid (Loligo forbesi) performance and metabolic rates in nature. - Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology25: 163–177, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  11. Owen, R. 1844. A description of certain belemnites preserved with a great proportion of their soft parts in the Oxford Clay at Christian Malford, Wiltshire. - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London1844: 65–85, London.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Reitner, J. &Urlichs, M. 1983. Echte Weichteilbelemniten aus dem Untertoarcium (Posidonienschiefer) Südwestdeutschlands. - Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen165: 450–465, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  13. Seilacher, A. &Wiesenauer, E. 1978. Preservational history of the Belemnites. - Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen157: 145–149, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  14. Spaeth, C. 1975. Zur Frage der Schwimmverhältnisse bei Belemniten in Abhängigkeit von Primärgefüge der Hartteile. - Paläontologische Zeitschrift49: 321–331, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  15. Stevens, G. R. 1965. The Jurassic and Cretaceous belemnites of New Zealand and a review of the Jurassic and Cretaceous belemnites of the Indo-Pacific region. - New Zealand Geological Survey Palaeontological Survey36: 1–283, Wellington.Google Scholar
  16. Wignall, P.B. &Hallam, A. 1991. Biofacies, stratigraphic distribution and depositional models of British onshore Jurassic black shales. -[In:]Tyson, R. V. &Pearson, T. H. (eds.) Modern and Ancient Continental Shelf Anoxia. - Geological Society Special Publications58: 291–309, London.Google Scholar
  17. Zuyev, G. V. &Makhlin, V. Z. 1965. The functional significance of the guard ofActinocamax. -Palaeontologisk Zhurnal1: 150–152, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neale Monks
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. David Hardwick
    • 3
  • Andrew S. Gale
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of PalaeontologyNatural History MuseumLondonUK
  2. 2.Royal School of MinesImperial CollegeLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringImperial CollegeLondonUK
  4. 4.School of Earth SciencesUniversity of GreenwichPembroke, Chatham MaritimeUK
  5. 5.Department of PalaeontologyNatural History MuseumLondonUK

Personalised recommendations