|Artist's reconstruction of O. regulare|
|Genus:||† Orthoceras |
Orthoceras ("straight horn") is a genus of extinct nautiloid cephalopod restricted to Middle Ordovician-aged marine limestones of the Baltic States and Sweden. ( Sweet 1964 :K222).This genus is sometimes called Orthoceratites. Note it is sometimes misspelled as Orthocera, Orthocerus or Orthoceros
Orthoceras was formerly thought to have had a worldwide distribution due to the genus' use as a wastebasket taxon for numerous species of conical-shelled nautiloids throughout the Paleozoic and Triassic. Since this work was carried out and re cataloging of the genus, Orthoceras sensu stricto refers to O. regulare, of Ordovician-aged Baltic Sea limestones of Sweden and neighboring areas.
These are slender, elongate shells with the middle of the body chamber transversely constricted, and a subcentral orthochoanitic siphuncle. The surface is ornamented by a network of fine lirae ( Sweet 1964 :K224). Many other very similar species are included under the genus Michelinoceras .
Originally Orthoceras referred to all nautiloids with a straight-shell, called an "orthocone" ( Fenton & Fenton 1958 :40). But later research on their internal structures, such as the siphuncle, cameral deposits, and others, showed that these actually belong to a number of groups, even different orders.
According to the authoritative Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, the name Orthoceras is now only used to refer to the type species O. regulare( Schlotheim 1820 ) harvcol error: no target: CITEREFSchlotheim1820 (help) from the Middle Ordovician of Sweden and parts of the former Soviet Union such as Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia and Lithuania. The genus might include a few related species.
Orthoceras and related orthoconic nautiloid cephalopods are often confused with the superficially similar Baculites and related Cretaceous orthoconic ammonoids. Both are long and tubular in form, and both are common items for sale in rock shops (often under each other's names). Both lineages evidently evolved the tubular form independently of one another, and at different times in earth history. Orthoceras lived much earlier (Middle Ordovician) than Baculites (Late Cretaceous). The two types of fossils can be distinguished by many features, most obvious among which is the suture line: simple in Orthoceras (see image), intricately foliated in Baculites and related forms.
Nautiloids are a large and diverse group of marine cephalopods (Mollusca) belonging to the subclass Nautiloidea that began in the Late Cambrian and are represented today by the living Nautilus and Allonautilus. Nautiloids flourished during the early Paleozoic era, where they constituted the main predatory animals, and developed an extraordinary diversity of shell shapes and forms. Some 2,500 species of fossil nautiloids are known, but only a handful of species survive to the present day.
Baculites is an extinct genus of cephalopods with a nearly straight shell, included in the heteromorph ammonites. The genus, which lived worldwide throughout most of the Late Cretaceous, and which briefly survived the K-Pg mass extinction event, was named by Lamarck in 1799.
Lituites is an extinct nautiloid genus from the Middle Ordovician and type for the Lituitidae that in some more recent taxonomies has been classified with the orthocerids and listed under the order Lituitida. Fossils have been found in New York, Argentina, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, and China.
Orthocerida is an order of extinct Orthoceratoid cephalopods also known as the Michelinocerida that lived from the Early Ordovician possibly to the Late Triassic. A fossil found in the Caucasus suggests they may even have survived until the Early Cretaceous. They were most common however from the Ordovician to the Devonian.
Cameroceras is a genus of extinct, giant orthoconic cephalopod that lived mainly during the Ordovician period. It first appears during the middle Ordovician, around 470 million years ago, and was a fairly common component of the fauna in some places during the period, inhabiting the shallow seas of Laurentia, Baltica and Siberia. Its diversity and abundance became severely reduced following the Ordovician–Silurian extinction events, and the last remnants of the genus went extinct sometime during the Wenlock.
The Ellesmerocerida is an order of primitive cephalopods belonging to the subclass Nautiloidea with a widespread distribution that lived during the Late Cambrian and Ordovician.
The Tarphycerida were the first of the coiled cephalopods, found in marine sediments from the Lower Ordovician to the Middle Devonian. Some, such as Aphetoceras and Estonioceras, are loosely coiled and gyroconic; others, such as Campbelloceras, Tarphyceras, and Trocholites, are tightly coiled, but evolute with all whorls showing. The body chamber of tarphycerids is typically long and tubular, as much as half the length of the containing whorl in most, greater than in the Silurian Ophidioceratidae. The Tarphycerida evolved from the elongated, compressed, exogastric Bassleroceratidae, probably Bassleroceras, around the end of the Gasconadian through forms like Aphetoceras. Close coiling developed rather quickly, and both gyroconic and evolute forms are found in the early middle Canadian.
The Ellesmeroceratidae constitute a family within the cephalopod order Ellesmerocerida. They lived from the Upper Cambrian to the Lower Ordovician. They are characterized by straight and endogastric shells, often laterally compressed, so the dorso-ventral dimension is slightly greater than the lateral, with close spaced sutures having shallow lateral lobes and a generally large tubular ventro-marginal siphuncle with concave segments and irregularly spaced diaphragms. Connecting rings are thick and layered, externally straight but thickening inwardly with the maximum near the middle of the segment so as to leave concave depressions on internal siphuncle molds. Septal necks are typically orthochoanitic but vary in length from almost absent (achoanitic) to reaching halfway to the previous septum (hemichoanitic) and may even slope inwardly (loxochoanitic).
Paraloxoceras is a genus of straight shelled, orthoconic nautiloid cephalopods, now extinct, that lived during the Early Carboniferous. Fossils have been found in Europe and central Asia; the type, P. konincki, named by Flower, came from Belgium.
Kionoceras is an extinct nautiloid cephalopod genus included in the orthocerid family Kionoceratidae with scattered worldwide distribution from the Middle Ordovician to the Lower Permian. Kionoceratids are orthocerids with prominent longitudinal ornamentation on their shells, sometimes augmented by secondary transverse ornamentation. Orthocerids are, of course, prehistoric nautiloides with generally straight and elongate shells, mostly with central or subcentral siphuncles.
Sinoceras is an extinct genus of nautiloids from China included in the family Orthoceratidae that lived from the middle Ordovician until the Devonian. The type species, S. chinense, was originally described as "Orthoceras chinense," but then was promoted by Shimizu and Obata to its own genus, Sinoceras, in 1935.
Geisonoceratidae is an extinct family of orthoceroid cephalopods endemic to what would be Asia, Europe, and North America from the Middle Ordovician to the Middle Devonian living from about 470—380 mya, existing for approximately 90 million years. With the possible addition of an Early Cretaceous orthocerid from the western Caucasus the range of this group increases dramatically to some 350 million years, thus making it one of the longest lived families of the Nautiloidea.
Dawsonoceratidae is an extinct family of orthoconic nautiloid cephalopods that lived in what would be North America and Europe from the Late Ordovician through the Middle Devonian from about 480–390 mya, existing for approximately.
Geisonocerina is an extinct genus from the carnivorous nautiloid cephalopod order Orthocerida that lived in what would be North America, Europe, and Asia during the Ordovician through Permian from 449—290 mya, existing for approximately.
Sactoceras is an extinct nautiloid cephalopod that lived during the Ordovician and Silurian in what would become North America, Europe, and Asia.
Orthoceratoidea is a subclass, formerly considered an infraclass or a superorder, that comprises Cephalopoda orders that have orthoconic to slightly cyrtoconic shells and central to subcentral siphuncles in which there may be internal deposits. Currently, Orthoceratoidea comprises the orders Dissidocerida, Ascocerida, Pseudorthocerida, Lituitida and Orthocerida.
The Phragmoceratidae is a family of extinct nautiloid cephalopods from the Order Discosorida that lived during the latter part of the Silurian.
Protcycloceratidae is an extinct family of slender, commonly annulate, members of the cephalopod order Ellesmerocerida that lived during the Early Ordovician.
Temperoceras is a genus of orthoconic nautiloid cephalopods named by Barskov in 1960 that lived in what is now north Africa, Europe, and Asia during the early Paleozoic.
Murrayoceras is a nautilid cephalopod included in the orthocerid family Baltoceratidae, widespread in the Middle Ordovician of North America, characterized by a depressed orthoconic shell with a subtriangular cross section and flattened venter and a proportionally large ventral siphuncle, 0.15 to 0.3 the dorso-ventral shell diameter. Septa are close spaced with sutures forming broad lobes on the upper flanks and ventral surface.