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Paläontologisches Institut

Research projects

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Prof. Dr. Christian Klug
Evolution and Palaeobiology of early cephalopods (Nautiloidea)
Dr. Alexander Pohle
November 2016 to February 2025
Funding sources
SNF, Personen- und Projektförderung, SNF, Personen- und Projektförderung
Kröger, Björn, Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki (Finland)
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In the course of the Cambrian explosion, the Cephalopoda originated and began to diversify. Their explosive radiation in the Early Ordovician yielded an astonishingly high diversity and disparity of conch forms. A second major evolutionary step can be identified in the Devonian, where some lineages gave rise to all extant cephalopods, while others went extinct. However, despite their abundance in Palaeozoic rocks, many details of their evolution are either poorly known or controversially debated. While it is widely accepted that the origins of the ammonoids and the coleoids lie within the orthocerids, contradicting theories exist concerning the ancestry of the Nautilida. In addition, many basic palaeobiological questions about nautiloids, such as their mode of life, remain unresolved. In this project, we plan to test some of the existing phylogenetic and palaeobiological hypotheses.
We plan to address the following questions:
1. Can Middle Devonian nautiloids serve as index fossils in Morocco?
2. Which morphologic characters are important for phylogeny?
3. What was their mode of life?
Nautiloidea, Devonian, Palaeozoic, evolution, stratigraphy, palaeoecology, Morocco
POHLE, A. & KLUG, C. (2018): Body size of orthoconic cephalopods from the Late Silurian and Devonian of the eastern Anti-Atlas (Morocco). – Lethaia, 51 (1): 126-148; Oslo.KLUG, C., FREY, L., POHLE, A., DE BAETS, K. & KORN, D. (2017): Palaeozoic evolution of animal mouthparts. – Bulletin of Geosciences, 92(4): 13 pp.; Praha.
KLUG, C., BOHATÝ, J., MÜLLER, P. & POHLE, A. (2017, for 2016): Erstes vollständiges Nautiliden-Gehäuse aus der Lahnmulde. – hessenARCHÄOLOGIE für 2016: 25-26; Wiesbaden.