Cretaceous spirulidsDirk Fuchs
While Cenozoic representatives of the Spirulida are well-known since the 19th century, Cretaceous ancestors of Spirula are first evident since Jeletzky (1966). Owing to a Spirula-like caecum that enters the lumen of the protoconch of a Late Cretaceous orthoconic phragmocone with conspicuously long chambers and without a belemnite-like rostrum, Jeletzky (1966) established the family Groenlandibelidae. Today, four species in three genera can reliably be placed within this spirulid family (Fuchs et al. 2012). Groenlandibelidae differ from belemnoids by the presence of a caecum, a narrow rod-like proostracum, wide soft tissue attachment scars, and the absence of a solid rostrum and tabular nacre in the shell wall (Fuchs et al. 2012). In contrast to Cenozoic spirulids (e.g. Beloptera, Spirulirostra), groenlandibelid phragmocones are not yet coiled.
The origin of groenlandibelids is still enigmatic. Morphologically, Cenomanian-Maastrichtian Longibelus matsumotoi and Aptian Longibelus kabanovi appear to be intermediate between belemnoid diplobelids and groenlandibelids (Fuchs & Tanabe 2010, Fuchs et al., 2013).
Soft tissues are unknown from the fossil record (except soft tissue attachment scars on the inside of each chamber ).
- Groenlandibelidae Jeletzky, 1966
- Groenlandibelus Jeletzky, 1966
- Groenlandibelus rosenkrantzi (Birkelund, 1956) (Maastrichtian of Greenland)
- Naefia Wetzel, 1930
- Naefia neogaeia Wetzel, 1930 (Maastrichtian of Chile)
- Cyrtobelus Fuchs et al., 2012
- Cyrtobelus birkelundae Fuchs et al., 2012 (Maastrichtian of Greenland)
- Cyrtobelus hornbyense Fuchs et al., 2012 (Campanian of Canada)
- Family and order uncertain
- Longibelus Fuchs et al., 2013
- Longibelus matsumotoi (Hirano et al., 1991) (Cenomanian-Maastrichtian of Japan)
- Longibelus cf. matsumotoi (Albian of southern India and South Africa, Maastrichtian of Alaska, Chile, Mexico,
- Longibelus kabanovi (Doguzhaeva, 1996) (Aptian of Caucasus)
Fuchs, D., Iba, Y., Ifrim, Ch.; Nishimura, T., Kennedy, J., Keupp, H., Stinnesbeck, W. and Tanabe, K. 2013. Longibelus n. gen. a new Cretaceous coleoid genus linking Belemnoidea and early Decabrachia. Palaeontology, 56 (5): 1081-1106. DOI:10.1111/pala.12036
Fuchs, D., Keupp, H., Trask, P. and Tanabe, K. 2012. Taxonomy, morphology and phylogeny of Late Cretaceous spirulid coleoids (Cephalopoda) from Greenland and Canada. Palaeontology, 55 (2): 285-303. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4983.2011.01125.x
Fuchs, D. and Tanabe, K. 2010. Re-investigation of the shell morphology and ultrastructure of the late Cretaceous spirulid coleoid Naefia matsumotoi. In: Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium - Cephalopods - Present & Past, Sapporo. 195-207.
Jeletzky, J. A. 1966. Comparative morphology, phylogeny and classification of fossil Coleoidea. Paleontological Contributions, University of Kansas, Mollusca, 7, 1?166.
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Dirk Fuchs at
Page copyright © 2014 Dirk Fuchs
Page: Tree of Life Cretaceous spirulids. Authored by Dirk Fuchs. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.
- First online 04 July 2012
- Content changed 12 December 2014
Citing this page:
Fuchs, Dirk. 2014. Cretaceous spirulids. Version 12 December 2014 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Cretaceous_spirulids/148172/2014.12.12 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/