Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life by Dorling Kindersley

By Dorling Kindersley

The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric existence is simply that: a spectacularly illustrated, finished advisor to the prehistoric international, and the crops and animals that lived there. With in-depth discussions of early Earth's eras of hospitable (and inhospitable) climates, stipulations, and the lifestyles kinds that flourished and floundered.

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2–299 Permian AMMONITES AND BELEMNITES BELEMNOTEUTHIS Loosely coiled shell with many turns, known as whorls Belemnites, such as Belemnoteuthis, resembled squid. They were long-bodied creatures with fairly large brains and big eyes. From the head end sprang 10 tentacles armed with suckers and hooks. The muscular mantle – the front of the body – had a winglike fin on either side. The tapering rear end covered the back of the internal shell. Belemnoteuthis used its hooked arms to grapple small, slow-moving sea creatures to its beak.

The downturned tip of the snout is due to distortion during fossilization. Like fishes, early limbed vertebrates still had a system of sensitive canals, called lateral lines, on their skull bones. Acanthostega skull The teeth were slim, sharply pointed, and conical. ACANTHOSTEGA Tetrapods like Ichthyostega and Acanthostega from Late Devonian Greenland had many fishlike features, including a tail fin, gill bones, and paddlelike hindlimbs. They appear to have been aquatic predators. Intriguingly, these animals had multiple digits – Acanthostega had eight fingers and Ichthyostega had seven toes.

As conodont teeth appear to contain ingredients of bone, some scientists consider conodonts to be the world’s first vertebrates. However, conodonts formed a sidebranch of the evolutionary line that led to fish. Conodont teeth resembled the teeth on a comb. 5 MYA 33 Neogene 23–present MYA–present FISH AND INVERTEBRATES VERTEBRATES CLADOGRAM VERTEBRATES HAVE AN INTERNAL SKELETON of bone or cartilage. The evolution of this skeleton allowed some vertebrates to support their weight on land better than any other animal group.

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