Would you like your own giant, round, fuzzy nautilus? OF COURSE! But for that to happen, my Squishable Nautilus design needs an average score of at least 4.15 to be considered for production!

Please vote 5 if you like this design and want to see it made into a real plush - the recent increase in score requirement means it’d be most helpful if you would share with your cephalopod-loving friends as well ~ @e彡

“A lot of us love the nautilus
with its cuttley spiraly features
20,000 leagues beneath the sea
it’s one of our favorite creatures!”

Baltica, by Maija Karala:

“I was asked to illustrate a spread of fossils and reconstructed animals from what the Baltic Sea was like in the Ordovician. They asked for colourful animals, and that’s what they got.

In the Ordovician, what is now Northern and Eastern Europe formed a small continent called Baltica, at the time located well south of the Equator. Much of the continent was covered in shallow seas, and there was a rich biodiversity of marine animals. Some of them have been preserved as fossils in Estonia, Åland islands and other places.

Made for Sieppo, a children’s magazine published by The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation.”

“Globe teeth”
Late Cretaceous, 70-60 million years ago

Whereas most mosasaurs had sharp, flesh-tearing teeth, Globidens’ teeth were rounded and acted more like nutcrackers. Such adaptations would’ve made short work of ammonites, nautiloids, and other shelled denizens of the Cretaceous seas. It is named partially for its specialized dentition, but mostly for its corporate sponsor, GlobiDens™ International, LLC.


An Upper Devonian Reef Diorama, featuring stalked crinoids and nautiloids, with assorted trilobites, rugose corals and primitive gastropods.

Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, Alberta.

Diorama and photo by Chase Studio.

Check out their website. They managed to create so much realism in their dioramas and cram so much details, it’s a crime not to give them the awards they deserve.

Ordovician Sea Floor, Doug Henderson, 2004, for the Florida Museum of Natural History

The cephalopods drift over the garden as jets do in a city sky: confident, deliberate, direct. Below them, crinoids and corals sway with the ocean currents; the water is active near the continental shelf, with upwellings and internal waves. Starfish crawl between coral and weeds, and fish, jawless torpedoes of bone and scale, linger near the lilies. Unlike the cephalopods—because of the cephalopods—the fish prefer to be inconspicuous. 

Days ago, the ocean roiled. Mud and boulders collapsed from the shelf. The silt settled to reveal half the garden crushed or buried, the rubble a grave marker. Mammoth nautiloid Endoceras rises over those rocks. It will reap from what the mudslide spared, gliding over the garden like an ogre-cum-dirigible, arms lashing down to capture fish and gastropods, shoveling them into pincer jaws with a violence that seems almost blasé. But for now, it hovers, siphon pulsing, pinhole eye staring, tentacles clutched tightly—death waiting above a cemetery.

Someday, the sea will churn again, sweeping everything in a storm. The garden will be decimated, leaving a few broken survivors. Even Endoceras is caught, pulled from the seabed and deposited with other giant nautiloids on the shore. There they will lay, strewn and stranded, like logs of driftwood abandoned by the sea.

I recently participated in CGSociety and the Idaho Visualization Lab’s Minitexture challenege. The Idaho Visualization lab provided models they have created as reconstructions of the now extinct Helicoprion and their prey the Nautiloid. Our job was to take the models, texture them and throw them in a scene together. Here is my final beauty render of the two, but if you’d like to see details of the textures, please visit my CGPortfolio here.

You can also view the other entries, including the entries from my friend and fellow classmate Caitlin Johnston, here.

This was a really fun texture excersize, and I learned a lot about ZBrush just by participating.

Like their modern relative the chambered nautilus, Nautiloids had a soft body with tentacles that emerged from a hollow shell filled with gas for buoyancy. Unlike the Nautilus, which is admired for the beauty of its spiral shell, the Nautiloid shell came in a variety of shapes. Orthoceras (which translates as “straight horn”) Nautiloids had long, cone shaped shells, and must have swum like torpedoes through ancient seas. Their fossilized shells are common and are used as decorative stone all over the world. These distinctive black and white specimens come from Morocco, and are often quarried in slabs teeming with fossil Orthoceras shells. The originally hollow chambers of the shell have filled in with white calcite crystals, and in some pieces the siphuncle, a tube that ran through all the chambers of the shell, is visible.

  • Length: 7" (17.78 cm)
  • Origin: Sahara Morocco
  • Age: 465 Million Years Old
  • Period: Ordovician Period 

Nautilus, A living fossil

In the deep, cool waters of the Indo-Pacific, you will find a pre-historic relic which dates back to the late Triassic period. One of the last remaining Cephalopods with an externalised shell, the Nautilus is a slow moving, primitive creature that has remained largely unchanged for millions of years. The fossil record shows that the first Nautiloids were orthoconic (having straight shells) but rapidly evolved to form a planispiral (coiled) shell by the Devonian period, which is how they have remained. Both the Nautilus and their close cousin the Allonautilus are members of the Nautilidea family which has 6 extant species and several extinct species.

Keep reading

Helicoprion and Nautiloids

Sharks have existed for millions of years. They are extremely important to their local ecosystems as they help to keep fish populations in check. Today there are approximately 400 known species of sharks. Sadly, many species of sharks are facing the threat of extinction due to overfishing. For more information about sharks, their history, and conservation efforts to save them, check out:

Created with 3ds Max, ZBrush, After Effects, and Photoshop.

Han solo by Traheripteryx

470 million years ago, southern China, blanketed with saltwater, was home to nautiloids, conodonts, and trilobites. Han solo—trilobite (though some will argue brachiopod)—crawled there, feeding on detritus over a seafloor a dark as the blackness of space. An Agnostid, not for lack of faith, but for lack of eyes and a certain kind of symmetry—heads and tails like mirrors or echoes or rhymes, happening over and over again a long time ago, in a China sea far, far away….

Bumastus, Obsidian Soul, 2011

There is no glamor in eating garbage, no elegance in sifting through the sand for loose particles of decomposed weeds, or flesh rotting inside a nautiloid shell, or an osctracoderm’s curled droppings. Bumastus creeps on the seafloor with its own kind. They’re a near-sighted and nervous species. When the shadow of a eurypterid glides over them, the stout trilobites wriggle backwards into the sand, leaving just their eyes peeking from the speckled grains, watching anxiously for another shadow to sweep past. They’re cowards who would rather roll into a tight ball than fight when attacked. They distrust strange flavors, dislike different species. Neophobic, apprehensive, small-minded, and socially fussy, they just want to be left alone to pick through the sea’s waste and maintain their 60 million-year dynasty of bottom-dwelling.