This looks like the reconstruction of a crime. It happened during the Jurassic. A squid-like creature quietly devoured a crustacean. But it was interrupted by another marine animal, possibly a shark. It bit on his soft side and killed him. And it became so petrified by these random things. It is the story of the squid fossil caught while eating.
This squid was a ten-armed, two-fined creature called a belemnite. It petrified on the ocean floor with its own prey. Germany is currently at this location.
The resulting 180 million year old fossil is “unique”. One of “10 specimens of belemnites with soft tissues (well preserved) worldwide”. Says Christian Klug, curator of the Paleontological Museum at the University of Zurich.
The fossil inspired a new term: pabulita. It comes from the Latin words “pabulum” and “lithos”. They mean “food” or “stone”. Pabulita refers to the “scraps of food” that never get into the predator’s digestive system and then petrify. In this case, the remains of the belemnite would be, the researchers said.
The shark may have targeted the soft tissues of the belemnite rather than its hard, pointed tip. Vertebrate predators learned to avoid hard-to-digest parts. The fossil collector Dieter Weber discovered the specimen in 1970. It was located in a small town near Stuttgart in southwest Germany.
One of the main candidates for the Belemnite “killer” is the early Jurassic shark Hybodus hauffianus. A previously described H. hauffianus fossil was filled with belemnite residues. Including dozens of rostra – a solid structure on the back of the animals.
Other suspects are large predatory fish like Pachycormus and Saurorhynchus. Or maybe the steneosaurus sea crocodile. The squid fossil caught while eating remains unsolved like an ancient crime. The study appears in the journal Swiss journal for paleontology.