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What is a Belemnite Fossil?

Belemnite Fossil
Belemnite Fossil
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Perhaps we can call fossils the most significant creators of nature. They are wonderful and exciting, and we enjoy looking at them. If you would like to know more about fossils, join us in this article because you will ask What is a Belemnite Fossil? Let’s answer.

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Extracted Belemnite Fossil
Extracted Belemnite Fossil

What is a Belemnite Fossil?

Belemnites also fall into the mollusk category. It is interesting to know that researchers have identified and classified 250 species of mollusks. Most animals that live on the beach or in the sea, such as oysters, snails, fish stalks, and octopuses, are in the mollusk category.

Some extinct creatures, such as the Belemnite, have diverse groups. Although they are very diverse and look very different, they have a standard structure in their body. Their soft, muscular body shape will help them move more quickly. As you know, many mollusks also have hard shells, which will help protect them in the wild.

The Belemnites had large eyes and tried to use their eyesight to find a fugitive to stay away from their enemies. Their swimming speed was very high. Like octopuses, they could prevent their enemies from attacking by producing black ink clouds.

Mollusk shells help preserve them and allow them to be fossilized. But mollusks without hard shells, such as snails and octopuses, usually will not have fossils.

Scientists say belemnites first appeared about 360 million years ago and became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous 65 million years ago. Precisely at the same time as ammonites and dinosaurs!

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Belemnite Fossil in different sizes
Belemnite Fossil in different sizes

Generalities about the Belemnites

Belemnite Fossils are one of the most common fossils found on the coast. Of course, they are more common around Charmouth. It is more like a squid and, when alive, is surrounded by a soft, pencil-like shell or bullet. Like ammonites, belemnites belong to a group called cephalopods.

Belemnites have ten arms, the presence of which helps them to catch prey more easily.

Now left with only fossils, the belemnites probably used small, invertebrate fish to feed in the water.

Belemnites are extinct animals. If searching for their name is attractive, you should know that belemnon has Greek roots and means dart.

In the past, in Scotland, they were called botstones and were used to treat horses.

The Chinese in the past knew belemnites as Jien-vij or sword stone.

In some Scandinavian regions, gnomes’ candles or vateljus were the names given to belemnites.

In the past, the Germans knew them by names such as Alpschoss or Fingerstein or Gespensterkerze, and Katzenkegel .

These mollusks fall into the category of cephalopods. If you research modern cephalopods, you will find that they include squid, octopus, and pearl nautilus.

The belemnoid is very similar to the squid because it has a leathery inner shell and tentacles that move forward.

The most common part fossilized in Belemnites is called “guard” or “cigar.” The guard has a brown structure, and the shell encloses it and is conical.

It is interesting to note that the belemnites became extinct almost at the same time as the dinosaurs disappeared. However, a lot of information is available about them. This information is usually found well in fossils.

Belemnites as sea animals 

Belemnites belonged to the mollusk and cephalopod class. Their bodies are similar to squid, but the difference with squid is that they have a complex internal skeleton.

There is a skeleton-like ball in the tail of this animal. Sometimes this animal uses its skeletal tail as a protector. Due to bones in this part of the animal’s body, we see fossils of these mollusks today.

when did belemnites go extinct?

As we said before, if you search for belemnites in Greek, you will find that belemnon means dart or spear. 

In the past, people believed that fossilized bearings were like darts thrown from the sky into the sea during lightning.

 Of course, some belemnite fossils are finger-shaped, and their roots can be found in the Greek word daktylos, meaning finger. Of course, in popular culture, the Belemnon fossils are also called the fingers of the devil and the fingers of St. Peter.

Medicinal powers of belemnite fossils

In the past, people thought that belemnites, like other fossils, had medicinal power. Of course, you should know that these beliefs vary from region to region.

People used belemnite fossils as a medicine for rheumatism and eye pain. Of course, people in some geographical areas also use this fossil to treat intestinal stones in horses.

Belemnite Fossil inside the rock
Belemnite Fossil inside the rock

How old are belemnite fossils?

What do you know about the belemnite fossil age? Belemnite fossils were found in Jurassic rocks about 145-1201 million years ago. That is, about 66 – 2.6 million years ago.


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  1. Milsom, C., & Rigby, S. (2009). Fossils at a Glance. Wiley.
  2. DOGUZHAEVA, L. A., & BENGTSON, S. (2011). The capsule: an organic skeletal structure in the Late Cretaceous belemnite Gonioteuthis from north-west Germany. Palaeontology, 54(2), 397–415. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4983.2010.01027.x
  3. Klug, C., Schweigert, G., Fuchs, D., Kruta, I., & Tischlinger, H. (2016). Adaptations to squid-style high-speed swimming in Jurassic belemnitids. Biology Letters, 12(1), 20150877.https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2015.0877
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