Not the Nautilus!!!!
With ancestral remains dating back to the Cambrian explosion (approximately 500 million years ago) and having remained so unchanged since, chambered nautilus (Nautilus pompilius) is considered a “living fossil.”
This primitive, nocturnal cephlapod has such poor vision, its uses its beak to explore its environment. This shy, beautiful creature has fascinated humans for hundreds of years lending its name and amazing multi-chambered body (up to 30 in adults!) to poetry and fiction.
Unfortunately, its gorgeous cream and brown shell may be its downfall; all over the world people clamor for the cheap and lustrous “Osmeña pearl” jewelry and souvenirs; is the shell of the nautilus, being caught by impoverished fisherman in the Pacific by the millions. What adds to the problem is the fact that the chambered nautilus takes 5-10 years to reach sexual maturity (a very long time compared to the other cephlapods), and the male-female ratio of the adult population is a whooping 83:17, making it difficult to find a mate.
Although the chambered nautilus has been able to keep pace with the evolutionary clock for millions of years, its time unfortunately may be running out; because of ignorance like this. There is hope; research done by Dr. Peter Ward and budding naturalists Josiah Utsch (11) and Ridgely Kelly(11) help bring awareness to the chambered nautilus’ plight through their cause Save the Nautilus