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Invertebrate Fossils of NJ

Belemnitella (Morton)

 Belemnites belong to a diverse group of cephalopods which include the squid, cuttlefish and octopus, they are characterized by an internally chambered shell known as a guard. Looking like bullets or orange pens, Belemnitella is found in abundance at Big Brook and one of the species that survived nearly to the end of the Cretaceous period. The forward part of the guard (the back is the pointed end) has a V shaped chamber which was used for buoyancy control. Casts of these chambers called phragmocones are often mistaken for teeth. Belemnitella can occur in huge numbers in some localities in so-called belemnite grave yards. 



Belemnites average between 1 and 2 inches reaching upwards of 4 inches.
Pictured are the typical stream finds
Scale 1 inch
Monmouth County, NJ



These belemnites were found split like this. This gives a good view of the chamber
used for buoyancy control.



Internal casts of the chambers are common and easily mistaken for teeth by beginners.
Unlike shark teeth the casts are "cone like" with two ridges running down the sides.


A group of large beleminites, the top one measures 4 1/4 inches.
These were found where a large section of the stream wall had collapsed
 due to natural erosion.


Belemnitella has a pointed tip. Stream wear quickly breaks these off,
finding one with the tip intact is uncommon

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