Abstract

Sutural perimeters of 301 Late Jurassic ammonites scale as the 3/8 power of phragmocone volume. This implies that septal surface grows as the ¾ power of body mass, the exponent of Kleiber's law (1932), one of the best-established empirical laws in biology, which is well known to be the scaling exponent of basal metabolic rate. Sutural complexity, as measured by fractal dimensions, emerges from the relationship between sutural perimeter and phragmocone volume, thus supporting the interpretations of septal folding as a mechanism for the increase in septal surface and as demanded by metabolic and physiologic processes (e.g., respiration or body chamber transport). The implications of these results strongly suggest that ammonite septa were involved in more than a simple structural support.

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