Earlier this year, paleontologists gave us a glimpse into the diets of ammonites, those ancient cousins to squid. I had always thought of ammonites as aggressive predators, so I was charmed to learn that some ammonites, at least, were gentle planktivores.

Now, brand new research casts ammonites in an even more sympathetic light--those poor things used to get chewed up by sharks! A surprisingly slender, point shark tooth was found embedded in the shell of a fossilized ammonite. The Economist reports:
That a shark with teeth like this would try to make a meal of an ammonite is, at first sight, odd. But second thoughts provide a possible explanation. Ammonites’ manoeuvrability would have depended crucially on their buoyancy control. Even a small puncture to the shell, which a pointed tooth would be well able to deliver, would let the water in and cause that control to vanish. Since ammonites could not withdraw entirely into their shells for self-defence, it would then just be a question of dragging the creature out of its chamber in order to eat it. And for that, sharp, pointed teeth are ideal.
(As for the title, I realize I should have put "nommed" in the past tense, since ammonites are extinct. But it looked too weird, and I enjoy the immediacy of the present tense.)