The ancestor of the vampire squid died in “eternal embrace” with his dinner

About 180 million years ago, an eight-armed predator grabbed its underwater prey – another eight-armed beast – and began nibbling it, until tragedy struck and they both died of asphyxiation, a new study finds.

The slate slab containing the fossilized remains of this duo preserved impressions of their soft tissues in “exceptional” detail, the researchers wrote in the study, which was published online March 16 in the United States. Swiss Journal of PalaeontologyAn analysis of the record reveals that their final moments together ended in an “eternal embrace,” the team said.