Walter Kegel Christensen (25 May 1942 – 18 October 2002)
Kir Nazimovich Nesis (9 January 1934 – 8 January 2003)
Kerstin Warnke, Helmut Keupp & Sigurd von Boletzly
ISBN 3 – 9808531 – 2 – 8
Coleoid cephalopopds form a considerable part of the marine biomass, and they are an increasingly important resource for the nourishment of humans. Our knowledge of extant coleoids, their biodiversity, ontogeny, phylogenetic relationships, behavior, and ecological conditions is still incomplete, particularly concerning the species living in pelagic zones and in deepwater. Also the fossil record of coleoids, which are known since the Palaeozoic, is very poor because of their generally reduced hard parts which presuppose extraordinary preservation conditions (“fossillagerstätten”). Besides the calcitic rostra of belemnites, which frequently occur in Jurassic and Cretaceous sediments, our knowledge of coleoids is based mainly on softbody fossils of only a few preservational windows, like the Solnhofen plattenkalks, in contrast to ectocochleate cephalopods, for which we find billions of fossil shells of both nautiloids and ammonoids in marine sediments throughout the world.
In order to focus on the actual research activities devoted to fossil and living coleoids, the first international symposium “Coleoid Cephalopods through Time” was held in September 17-19, 2002 at the Freie Universität Berlin in collaboration with the Graduate Program “Evolutionary Transformations and Mass Extinctions; about forty specialists in this field from all over the world discussed relevant questions very effectively. The interdisciplinary blend of biologists and palaeontologists mutually opened the understanding of many new aspects.
Presently we are mourning two colleagues who were key note speakers at the symposium: Walter Kegel Christensen, Copenhagen, and Kir Nazimovich Nesis, Moscow; both died soon afterwards.
Issue 3 of the berliner paläobiologische abhandlungen is the proceedings volume of the symposium; following the obituary notices written by Friedrich Schmid-Wallis and Chingis Nigmatullin, respectively, it presents 21 papers dealing with various aspects of fossil and extant coleoids. The palaeontological and biological fields interdigitate through contributions on the phylogeny of particular groups.
The editors wish to express their thanks for different kinds of support; without these helpful means and actions the present volume would not have been achieved. We are indebted to the following colleagues for their peer reviews of the published papers: Alexander Arkhipkin, Louise Allcock, Roland Anderson, Giambattista Bello, Vera Bettencourt, Vjacheslav Bizikov, Jean Boal, Peter Boyle, Bernd Budelmann, Raymond Chichery, Malcolm Clarke, Desmond Donovan, Theo Engeser, John Forsythe, Marek Lipinski, Walter Manger, Royal Mapes, Rolf Neuser, Michele Nishiguchi, Ron O´Dor, Takashi Okutani, Rudolf Schipp, Christian Spaeth, Roger Villanueva. For technical assistance with the lay-out we thank the staff of the Freie Universität, namely Micha Bustian, Rolf Kohring, Petra Großkopf, Monika Bulang-Lörcher. Anne Beck and Desmond Donovan especially helped us by notably improving the English in several texts. Walter Manger is gratefully acknowledged for his financial contribution.
Kerstin Warnke, Helmut Keupp, Sigurd von Boletzky