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Klug et al., 2021a

Failed prey or peculiar necrolysis? Isolated ammonite soft body from the Late Jurassic of Eichstätt (Germany) with complete digestive tract and male reproductive organs

Klug, C., Schweigert, G., Tischlinger, H., Pochmann, H.
AjakiriSwiss Journal of Palaeontology
LeheküljedArticle number: 3
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Ammonoid soft parts have been rarely described. Here, we document the soft parts of a perisphinctid ammonite from the early Tithonian of Wintershof near Eichstätt (Germany). This exceptional preservation was enabled by the special depositional conditions in the marine basins of the Solnhofen Archipelago. Here, we document this find and attempt to homologize its parts with various organs such as the digestive tract, reproductive organs, the mantle cavity with gills, and the hyponome, with differing degrees of reservation. Alternative interpretations are also taken into account. We suggest that the soft parts were separated from the conch either taphonomically (following necrolytical processes affecting the attachment structures) or during a failed predation, where a predator (fish or coleoid) removed the soft parts from the conch but then dropped them. This find is interesting because it adds to the knowledge of ammonite anatomy, which is normally hidden in the conch. The reproductive organs show traces of what might have been sper‑matophores, thus supporting the hypothesis that the microconchs represented the males

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