Belemnite, donnerkeil and devil's fingers

Belemnites, fossil remains of an extinct squid. Also known as donnerkeil or devil's fingers. Read more.

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Belemnites were a species of squid that lived around the time of the dinosaurs, about 70 million years ago.

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The belemnite belonged to the cephalopods and is an extinct subclass of the Coleoidea. A striking feature of the animal was the straight tailpiece called the rostrum. It is this part that we find today as belemnite. It most likely served as a stabilizer in hunting. The tentacles of the belemnite did not have suction cups but barbs. It actively hunted for its prey.

Donnerkeil and devil's fingers

It used to be believed that the belemnites were shot to Earth by the thunder god during a thunderstorm. They were therefore given the name: 'Donnerkeil' which means lightning strike. However, there are also writings in which they are called 'devil's fingers'. By grinding belemnites they were also considered beneficial and medicinal.

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