From: Tonmo.com, November 2004
Written by: Phil Eyden
Fossils of octopuses are by far the most enigmatic and mysterious of all the ancient groups of cephalopods. Due to their delicate structure fossils of these animals are exceptionally rare, as the soft-bodied nature of the animal does not lend itself to fossilisation. They are so rare that there is just one known from Illinois (296million years old), one from France (164m) and just a handful from Lebanon (89-71m). Very little is known about their history, how they evolved and developed, or their lifestyle. Following is a brief look at some of the theories surrounding them, the three octopuses themselves and the sites they were found in. It should be remembered that these three forms almost certainly do not represent a single line of descent.