9.5" Soft-Bodied, Hook Armed Cephalopod (Acanthoteuthis) - Amazing!

This is an incredible, soft-bodied, 9.5" long cephalopod fossil from Hakel, Lebanon. The quarry had never seen anything quite like it and neither had we. I sent photos off to several cephalopod experts and one of them finally identified it as the hook-bearing arm-crown of Acanthoteuthis (Belemnoteuthis) syriaca. To say it's a rare find is an understatement, and the level of preservation is simply amazing.

The fossil is located on a solid, 12.4x7.3" slab of limestone, associated with several partial fish fossils. There has been no restoration, repair, or color enhancement done to this specimen.

Acanthoteuthis is a belemnite, a squid-like cephalopod with an internal shell, related to modern coleoid cephalopods. Most of the species of this genus are Late Jurassic in age, though Acanthoteuthis syriaca is Late Cretaceous.

The discovery of amazingly preserved marine fossils near Hakel, Lebanon dates back many centuries. In fact, they were first mentioned in writing by Herodotus, over 450 years before the birth of Christ. The first scientific work on these localities began in the 1800s and these deposits have been meticulously quarried by several Lebanese families for over a century. We purchase our specimens directly from one of these families that has worked the quarries for generations.

These deposits represent a warm, shallow sea and have yielded over 70 types of fish as well as numerous other genera found nowhere else in the world. The preservation on many of these specimens is truly amazing including including examples of soft bodied preservation.

A photo of the quarry at Hakel, Lebanon
A photo of the quarry at Hakel, Lebanon

Acanthoteuthis (Belemnoteuthis) syriaca
Hakel, Byblos, Lebanon
Sannine Formation
9.5" long on 12.4x7.3" limestone
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