No one ever talks about how it was a tender parent and affectionate partner

No. It’s always “underwater killing machine” this and “largest creature of its age” that. Consider the accomplishment of growing to become one of the largest animals on the planet during the Ordovician, instead.

Look at you! Scarcely out of the Cambrian, and already 2.5m long, with a sophisticated sensory system, clever system for maintaining equilibrium in the ocean, and beautifully adept tentacles. Be proud, great brave mollusc! You were more than just a murder monster.


  1. birgerjohansson says

    I recall the countless ortoceratite shells that patterned the stone slabs of the floor at my primary school I attended 1968-1970. Well preserved after 400 million years. It certainly played a role in getting me interested in science.