Temporal range: Upper Cambrian
Ulrich & Foerste, 1933
Plectronoceras is the earliest known shelly cephalopod, dating to the Upper Cambrian. Its 14 known specimens hail from the basal Fengshan Formation (north-east China) of the earliest Fengshanian stage. None of the fossils are complete, and none show the tip or opening of the shell. Approximately half of its shell was filled with septa; 7 were recorded in a 2 cm shell. Its shell contains transverse septa separated by about half a millimetre, with a siphuncle on its concave side. Its morphology matches closely to that hypothesised for the last common ancestor of all cephalopods.
Plectronoceras is the type genus of the family Plectronoceratidae.
- Dzik, J. (1981). "Origin of the cephalopoda". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 26 (2): 161–191.
- Clarke, M.R.; Trueman, E.R. (1985), "Main features of cephalopod evolution", in Wilbur, Karl M.; Clarke, M.R.; Trueman, E.R., The Mollusca, 12. Paleontology and neontology of Cephalopods, New York: Academic Press, ISBN 0-12-728702-7
- Webers, G. F.; Yochelson, E. L. (1989). "Late Cambrian molluscan faunas and the origin of the Cephalopoda". In Crame, J. A. Origins and Evolution of the Antarctic Biota 47. Geological Society, London: Special Publications. p. 29. doi:10.1144/GSL.SP.1989.047.01.04.
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