Cephalopod ink is really old

Cephalopods (squids, octopi, and cuttlefish) are one of my favorite groups of organisms. they have really cool eyes (and good eyesight), change color, and some can even change shape (check out the video of the mimic octopus that I posted a few days ago). They also produce ink that they release to deter predators.  Recently, a fossilized ink sac from the Jurassic period was discovered in the UK. Not only was the ink sac preserved, so was some ink! The researchers were able to determine that the ink from the Jurassic period was composed of the same eumelanin that makes up the ink of modern-day cephalopods! They even used multiple methods to verify, as this sort of find is rather unusual. The importance of this find is that it indicates that the cephalopod predator-escape mechanism has not evolved in the past 160 million years or so, and obviously that their mechanism has been in place for quite a while. It’s really a pretty cool find!


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