Dino hunters use 150 mln-yr-old squid ink to paint portrait

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London, August 19 (ANI): Dinosaur hunters have found the fossil of a 150 million-year-old squid during a dig in north Wiltshire in England, which was so well preserved they used its ink to paint a portrait of the ancient creature.

According to a report in The Sun, paleontologists were stunned to find the soft tissue in the fossilized squid still remained, which beat billion to one odds.

They then used the fossil as a template to paint the squid as it would have looked - writing its Latin name "Belemnotheutis antiquus" alongside it.

Dr Phil Wilby, who led the excavation, said that the fossilized ink was preserved by the "Medusa effect" - when specimens turn to stone before the soft parts rot.

"It's among the world's best fossil preservation. It's a squid-like creature, but it's not the same as a modern-day squid. In fact, it's not like anything we have in the world today. You really don't imagine anything so soft could be so well preserved three-dimensionally," he said.

"It's fossilized so beautifully well that you can actually still write with it. It still looks as if it is modern squid ink. It's absolutely incredible to find something like this," he added.

"We felt that drawing the animal with it would be the ultimate self-portrait. It's very valuable material so we won't be using up any more of it now we've done the first test," he explained.

"The odds of this find are easily a billion-to-one and probably much greater," he further added.

The specimen is now in the British Geological Survey collection in Nottingham and part of the ink sac has been sent to Yale University in America for in-depth chemical analysis. (ANI)

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