Coleoidea (squids and octopuses) comprise all crown group cephalopods except the Nautilida.
Coleoids are characterized by internal shell (endocochleate), ink sac and arm hooks, while nautilids lack an ink sac, arm hooks, suckers, and have an external conch (ectocochleate). Differentiating between straight conical conchs (orthocones) of Palaeozoic Coleoidea and other ectocochleates is only possible when rostrum (shell covering the
chambered phragmocone) and body chamber are preserved. Here, we provide information on how this internalization might have evolved. We re-examined one of the oldest coleoids, Gordoniconus beargulchensis from the Early Carboniferous of the Bear Gulch Fossil-Lagerstätte (Montana) by synchrotron, various lights and Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI). This revealed previously unappreciated anatomical details, on which we base evolutionary scenarios of how the internalization and other evolutionary steps in early coleoid evolution
proceeded. We suggest that conch internalization happened rather suddenly including early growth stages while the ink sac evolved slightly later.