Scientists found the fossil of an ancient squid of the species Belemnotheutis antiquus
at a dig near Trowbridge, England, when they reopened an archaeological site that had been abandoned for 170 years. Inside there was a one-inch black ink sac that still contained ink granules. As an experiment, researchers ground up a small portion of the ink and dissolved it in an ammonia solution. Then they used the sample to draw a picture of what the squid may have once looked like! Excavation leader Dr. Phil Wilby said,
"It is difficult to imagine how you can have something as soft and sloppy as an ink sac fossilised in three dimension, still black, and inside a rock that is 150 million years old.
"The structure is similar to ink from a modern squid so we can write with it. I suppose we could theoretically use it for food colouring, too, but I don't think I will try tasting it."
A sample of the ink has been sent to Yale University for further analysis. Link
-via the Presurfer
(image credit: BMPS)