Shells of the Chambered Nautilus, Nautilus pompilius (Nautilidae) are formed by two layers. The external layer has a pattern of irregular brown to reddish brown stripes, while the inner layer (as seen in the photo) is striking white iridescent.
The iridescent material inside nautilus shells is sometimes machined into pleasing shapes and sold as “Osmeña pearl.”
Hey guys, super windy night here in Austin, Tx! Just finally got my internet back in time to upload this to the site! You can get prints of it here on my Society 6 page. Hope you enjoy!
The ancient Nautilus. Probably one of the coolest looking critters to jet around in the sea. I’ve also learned while researching this piece, that the coloration of their shells actually helps in camouflaging them in the open ocean(i.e. Dark on top and light when viewed from below). And when you think about it, it’s a brilliant sort of time-delayed camouflage since it’s always growing?! Nature is so f@#king cool!!!
…is a species of nautilus found in the waters around the island of Palau in the Pacific. Like the more popular chambered nautilus (N.pompilius) the Palau nautilus has a closed umbilicus (space between coils of shell) which is covered with a callus. It differs in its modified radula and raised ridges on its shell, which make a cross-grid texture. The Palau nautilus is an opportunistic feeder and will eat arthropods, carrion and anything else it can stomach.
“At night, nautiluses ascend to shallower waters to scavenge for hermit crabs, fish, and the exoskeletons of molting crustaceans. They locate food by smelling the ocean currents for traces of dead or dying prey.”-
Nautilus belauensis, also known as the Palau Nautilus, is a species of nautilus native to the waters around the Pacific island nation of Palau. Nautilus is the common name of marine creatures of cephalopod family Nautilidae (see this previous post), the sole extant family of the superfamily Nautilaceae and of its smaller but near equal suborder, Nautilina. It comprises six living species in two genera. The nautilus is similar in general form to other cephalopods, with a prominent head and tentacles. Nautiluses typically have more tentacles than other cephalopods, up to ninety. These tentacles are arranged into two circles and, unlike the tentacles of other cephalopods, they have no suckers, are undifferentiated and retractable. The radula (structure used for feeding) is wide and distinctively has nine teeth. There are two pairs of gills. Nautiluses are the sole living cephalopods whose bony body structure is externalized as a shell. The animal can withdraw completely into its shell and close the opening with a leathery hood formed from two specially folded tentacles.
Nautilus eating a crab. // Nautilus are pelagic marine mollusks often referred to as ‘living fossils’. They are some of the last descendants of their ancient lineage.
Phylum: Mollusca // Class: Cephalopoda // Family: Nautilidae
Photo Credit: UNM Biology