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Modern Forms


There are currently about 600 species of cephalopods, of which the dominant subclass is the Coleoidea, which includes the octopods, squids, cuttlefish, argonauts, and the Nautiloidea. Cephalopods have a large impact on the marine ecosystem, eating some 15-20% of their body weight per day. Like fish, some species of squid such as Todarodes pacificus have annual migration routes for spawning covering over 4000 km, from the East China Sea to the Kurile Islands, and back again. This species is also heavily fished, with over 500,000 tonnes being caught annually off the coast of Japan. The estimated worldwide yearly catch of squid is put conservatively at 10 m tonnes, making it an important component of the world fisheries.


Literature and web links
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Websites produced by students on the MSc Palaeobiology programme in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol for academic year 2004-5