In appearance, Nectocaris is indeed resemble to the coleoids, such as squids, cuttlefishes and octopuses, among cephalopods, however, it has neither the external shell nor the internalized shell 1).
Nectocaris is about 7cm in length 1). It looks like a squid with only two tentacles. The head (main body) has wide lateral fins and a pair of tentacles 1). Beneath of the head, the nozzle-shaped funnel projects and its both sides have a pair of eyes with short stalks. These were camera-type eyes like extant cephalopods have 1), 3).
The spouting water flow from the funnel would have been sufficient for propulsion of swimming 1), 3). In addition to the funnel, using the large lateral fins too, they would have swun near the seabed and preyed on small foods or dead animals by their tentacles.
- Royal Ontario Museum. The burgess Shale, Fossil Gallery
- Smith MR, Caron JB (2010) Primitive soft-bodied cephalopods from the Cambrian. [abstract & supplementary information] Nature 465:469-472. (DOI:10.1038/nature09068.)
- Smith M (2013). Nectocaridid ecology, diversity, and affinity: Early origin of a cephalopod-like body plan. [abstract] Paleobiology 39(2):297-321. (DOI:10.1666/12029.) Data from: Nectocaridid ecology, diversity, and affinity: early origin of a cephalopod-like body plan (DOI:10.5061/dryad.7m6kg.)