This is a truly exceptional fossil, a 5" long squid from the Upper Cretaceous, Lebonese lagerstätten deposits. It has exquisite soft-bodied preservation including tentacles and even the ink sac. There are also two small fossil fish preserved next to it on the limestone.
These rare cephalopod fossils
have been the subject of several research papers and news articles over the past few years. They compared the preserved organic granules in the ink sacks with the structures in modern squid ink and found them to be identical. In fact by dissolving the graduals in an ammonia solution they were even able to write with it. I've linked several of the papers and articles below.
A NEW LOOK AT FOSSIL CEPHALOPODS - Neal Larson, Robert Morton, Peter Larson & UWE Bergman
SQUIDS: THE CRETACEOUS INK WELL
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC - Fossil Ink Sacs Yield Jurassic Pigment - A First
There has been no repair work, restoration or color enhancement done to the specimen.
The discovery of amazingly preserved marine fossils near Hakel, Lebanon dates back many centuries. In fact they were first mentioned in writing by Herodotus, over 450 years before the birth of Christ. The first scientific work on these localities began in the 1800's and these deposits have been meticulously quarried by several Lebanese families for over a century. We purchase our specimens directly from one of these families that have worked the quarries for generations.
These deposits represent a warm, shallow sea and have yielded over 70 types of fish as well as numerous other genre found no where else in the world. The preservation on many of these specimens is truly amazing including including examples of soft bodied preservation.
A photo of the quarry at Hakel, Lebanon