Squid Drawn from 150 million-year-old Ink

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)

Newest 3
Newest 3 Comments

Nobody wanted a tattoo?

Hmm, I think I just came up with the outline of a cheesy horror flick :D Enthusiastic nerd gets tattoo from ancient ink sac, becomes some sort of horrible squid-man. Ends with the protagonist enjoying a plate of calamari
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Squid Drawn from 150 million-year-old Ink"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More