Cephalopoda

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(Systematics: revisted 1st part of 3rd par , soft part classif of recent forms, shell based of fossil forms)
(Biology)
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All cephalopods are carnivorous, feeding primarily on fish, other [[Mollusca|mollusks]], [[Crustacea]], and worms.  The head projects into a crown of prehensile tentacles - ranging from 8 in the octopus to 80 or 90 in the living nautilus.  These tentacles are actually a specialized form of the standard molluscan foot, and used for grasping prey.  Once the prey is snared it is bitten with strong beak-like jaws and pulled into the mouth by the [[radula]].
All cephalopods are carnivorous, feeding primarily on fish, other [[Mollusca|mollusks]], [[Crustacea]], and worms.  The head projects into a crown of prehensile tentacles - ranging from 8 in the octopus to 80 or 90 in the living nautilus.  These tentacles are actually a specialized form of the standard molluscan foot, and used for grasping prey.  Once the prey is snared it is bitten with strong beak-like jaws and pulled into the mouth by the [[radula]].
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Cephalopods are quite large by molluscan standards (most species being between 6 and 70 cm including tentacles), with the giants of the group - such as the modern day ''[[Architeuthis]]'', the giant squid, with a body length (including tentacles) of up to 16 meters, the Ordovician [[Endocerida|endocerid]] [[Nautiloidea|nautiloid]] ''[[Cameroceras]]'', with a straight shell up to 10 metres in length, and the Cretaceous [[Ammonoidea|ammonoid]] ''[[Pachydiscus seppenradensis]]'', with a coiled shell 3 metres in diameter - the largest invertebrates ever to live, with weights of one to two tons.  Such giant cephalopods play or played a similar ecological role of top predator to that of [[Devonian]] [[Arthrodira|arthrodire]] [[Placodermi|placoderms]], [[Mesozoic]] [[pliosaur]]s and [[Cenozoic]] [[Odontoceti|toothed whales]].
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Cephalopods are quite large by molluscan standards (most species being between 6 and 70 cm including tentacles), with the giants of the group - such as the modern day ''[[Architeuthis]]'', the giant squid, with a body length (including tentacles) of up to 20 meters, the Ordovician [[Endocerida|endocerid]] [[Nautiloidea|nautiloid]] ''[[Cameroceras]]'', with a straight shell up to 10 metres in length, and the Cretaceous [[Ammonoidea|ammonoid]] ''[[Pachydiscus seppenradensis]]'', with a coiled shell 3 metres in diameter - the largest invertebrates ever to live, with weights of one to two tons.  Such giant cephalopods play or played a similar ecological role of top predator to that of [[Devonian]] [[Arthrodira|arthrodire]] [[Placodermi|placoderms]], [[Mesozoic]] [[pliosaur]]s and [[Cenozoic]] [[Odontoceti|toothed whales]].
Cephalopods have a highly developed nervous system, unequalled among the invertebrates, and correlated with locomotor dexterity and carnivorous lifestyle (predators generally always have larger brains than prey animals).  There is a high level of cephalization (development and concentration of sensory and neural centers in the head).  The nerve ganglia are concentrated and more or less fused to form a brain that encircles the esophagus. A bundle of giant nerve fibres tied to the [[mantle]] give them very rapid reflexes.  They are visual creatures, changing colour to express mood.  The eyes of the [[Coleoidea]] are very elaborate, with a retinal structure remarkably like that found in vertebrates.  The eye of the giant squid is the largest of any animal - 40 cm across. Nautiloids have smaller and more primitive eyes.
Cephalopods have a highly developed nervous system, unequalled among the invertebrates, and correlated with locomotor dexterity and carnivorous lifestyle (predators generally always have larger brains than prey animals).  There is a high level of cephalization (development and concentration of sensory and neural centers in the head).  The nerve ganglia are concentrated and more or less fused to form a brain that encircles the esophagus. A bundle of giant nerve fibres tied to the [[mantle]] give them very rapid reflexes.  They are visual creatures, changing colour to express mood.  The eyes of the [[Coleoidea]] are very elaborate, with a retinal structure remarkably like that found in vertebrates.  The eye of the giant squid is the largest of any animal - 40 cm across. Nautiloids have smaller and more primitive eyes.

Revision as of 17:10, 7 December 2009

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