An examination of a farewell to arms

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An examination of a farewell to arms

During their time on this earth, they were one of the most diverse and abundant groups of mollusks around. But as with other mollusks, their fossil record is overwhelmingly dominated by the hard shells, with little direct evidence of the softer parts of the animal. So what did the rest of an ammonoid look like?

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A typical ammonite Asteroceras obtusum, copyright Dlloyd. Ammonoids belong to the cephalopods, and hence to the same group of mollusks as modern octopods, squids and nautilus. Indeed, it is generally accepted that ammonoids were more closely related to octopods and squid than nautilus.

As such, we can safely take as a starting assumption that those features shared by modern cephalopods were also present in ammonoids, such as a muscular siphon for propelling the animal, and an array of arms or tentacles surrounding a central mouth.

But how many tentacles did ammonoids have? Squid and octopods have eight or ten arms, but nautilus have many more, about ninety.

An examination of a farewell to arms

Because nautilus bear a superficial resemblance to early cephalopods in retaining an external shell, it has been tempting to assume that they are more primitive than octopods and squid, but there are good reasons to believe that the supernumerary tentacles of nautilus are a derived peculiarity of that group.

With ammonoids on the squid line rather than the nautilus line as mentioned above, it seems likely that they retained the primitive arm number like their sister group. Trace fossils have been used to argue for a low tentacle number in orthocerids, a group of Palaeozoic cephalopods commonly believed to include the ancestors of both ammonoids and squid, but again the evidence is not enough to be conclusive.

If we do presume that ammonoids had a squid- or octopus-like number of tentacles, can we then interpret ammonoids as basically a squid in a coiled shell? This may be the most common representation of such animals: Unfortunately for Akane's purposes, ammonites may not have provided much in the way of good eating.

Whereas the fossil record of ammonoid tentacles themselves is next to nonexistent, we do have a bit more evidence about the arrangement of an ammonoid's mouthparts. Living cephalopods usually have a hardened beak at the opening of the mouth, with the ribbon-like radula sitting directly behind it.

The majority of tearing and crushing of food is done by the beak; the radula mostly functions to pull food particles back into the gullet.

Ammonites possessed a broad structure near the opening of the body chamber that is called an anaptychus or aptychus according to its configuration though just to confuse matters, the term 'aptychus' seems to sometimes be used to cover both types. An 'anaptychus' was a single chitinous, semi-circular plate; an 'aptychus' was a calcified, bivalved arrangement.

The aptychi were not directly attached to the main shell and may commonly be found as isolated fossils. Examination of aptychi that have been preserved still in their original body chamber has lead to the widely held conclusion that they represent a modification of the original lower jaw of the beak.

Meanwhile, the upper jaw became reduced and weakened in ammonites with aptychi Tanabe et al. So all ammonites are ammonoids, but not all ammonoids are ammonites. Specimen of Neochetoceras with aptychus in place, from here.

Because they often have a similar configuration to the opening of the ammonite's shell, the aptychi have often been interpreted as functioning as an operculum for when the animal retracted itself into the body cavity, presenting a tough barrier to any would-be predator.

Certainly the reduced upper jaw meant that they could not function as a beak to bite into food though some Late Cretaceous ammonites did exhibit a re-enlargement of the upper jaw and may have regained their bite. However, if aptychi functioned as opercula then the tentacles of ammonites could not have sat in quite same arrangement as in modern cephalopods.Definition, Usage and a list of Theme Examples in common speech and literature.

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HP needs weeks to ship additional TouchPads, according to a leaked email sent to customers. HP is prepping one last run for its defunct tablet. A Farewell to Arms The main character, Lieutenant Frederic Henry, is an American serving in the Italian Army as an ambulance driver.

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Henry meets Catherine Barkley, an English nurse's aide at a . A Farewell to Arms is a novel by Ernest Hemingway set during the Italian campaign of World War I.

First published in , it is a first-person account of an American, Frederic Henry, serving as a lieutenant ("tenente") in the ambulance corps of the Italian Army. The title is taken from a poem by the 16th-century English dramatist George Peele.

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Catalogue of Organisms: The Arms of an Ammonite