Chambered Nautilus - Nautilus pompilius

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.”

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Maciej Bledowski


These #CephalopodWeek infographics shows everything you should know about squids

It’s the third-annual #CephalopodWeek and we’re celebrating the cephalove for squids, octopuses, nautiluses, and cuttlefish! There are a lot of neat facts about cephalopods, like how octopuses have little mini-brains in each of their tentacles, probably accounting for how they move.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. If all the cephalopod info out there seems dizzying to you, start with our infographics. 


Fuzzy Nautilus Rediscovered and Filmed

by Peter Ward

At most sites around the Earth, nautiluses can be found at depths between 300 and a thousand feet. They live singly (never in schools), they grow slowly (taking up to 15 years to reach full size and reproductive age), and they are never overly abundant as they slowly swim over the deep sea beds searching for carrion on the bottom.

In all but one place on Earth, only a single nautilus species can be found at any one site.

Northeast of the main island of Papua New Guinea however, along the coast of Manus Island, made famous by the American anthropologist Margaret Mead in the earlier part of the twentieth century, not only can you find the well-known chambered nautilus (Nautilus pompilius)…

but south of Manus there is a second species as well.

It was first seen alive in 1984, and was found to be so astoundingly different in shell and soft part anatomy that it was, in 1997, give a wholly new genus name: Allonautilus scrobiculatus. And then, for the next 30 years, it wasn’t seen again…

(read more: National Geographic)

photographs by Peter Ward

‘2050′ for Nautilus Magazine

For an article about how robots will take us with them in the future. Rather than the normal doom and gloom dystopian singularity people normally predict they thought that robots would form a mutual relationship with people. So I came up with a metaphor for positive feedback loops, hence the hand car! I looked at a lot of ‘space wheels,’ from Mass Effect’s Citadel to Elysium, and admittedly even Gundam Wing, to do the background, but Kali Ciesmier’s SEED poster had the biggest effect on the color palette. 

Thanks to AD Nicholas Garber!

Logarithmic Spirals of the Nautilus Shell.

The spiral is a common element of Sacred Geometry as well as to all natural development. Spirals in nature tend to follow the Golden Ratio (Phi) or Fibonacci Sequence in their rates of expansion. The key to Sacred Geometry is the relationship between the progression of growth and proportion. Harmonic proportion and progression are the essence of the created universe and is consistent with nature around us. The natural progression follows a series that is popularized in the West as the “Fibonacci Series” where the first two numbers in the series are added to create the third number for a series of number that begins 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987…and goes on ad infinitum. The ratio of the numbers gains great importance as the series continues. By dividing one number by the previous number, the answers result in or come closer to phi: 3/5 = 1.6666, 13/8 = 1.6250, 233/144 = 1.6180. These numbers can be demonstrated with the spiral of the Nautilus. 

The Golden Ratio (phi) is the unique ratio such that the ratio of the whole to the larger portion is the same as the ratio of the larger portion to the smaller portion. The ratio links each chamber of the nautilus to the new growth and symbolically, each new generation to its ancestors, preserving the continuity of relationship as the means for retracing its lineage. This geometry of the Nautilus can be found in the spiral patterns of cauliflower, the placement of the leaves on most plants, the arrangement of pattern on a pine cone. The ratios can be retrieved from the shape of our DNA and the measurement of distant galaxies as the Sacred Geometry demonstrates the blueprint of the sacred foundation of all things and the interconnectedness of all the various parts of the whole. 


Chambered nautilus: the ocean’s jet-propelled diver

To avoid predators by day, nautilus linger along deep reef slopes as deep as 2,000 feet. At night, they migrate to shallower waters and cruise the reefs, trailing their tentacles in search of food. 

Its simple eyes can only sense dark and light, but the nautilus uses more than 90 tentacles—the most of any cephalopod—to touch and taste the world. A nautilus’s tentacles, unlike those of other cephalopods, have grooves and ridges that grip food and pass it to the nautilus’s mouth. A parrotlike beak rips the food apart, and a radula further shreds the food.

Watch a chambered nautilus bob and drift

Learn more about this living link to the past



The Woman Who Got Lost At Home

For this piece, I was asked to illustrate a murky, disintegrating interior scene. For the .gif version, I experimented with making the blurriness shift and fade, as though one’s perception of their surroundings is dizzying. The article it accompanies is fascinating–imagine how we think about space, especially the spaces we know well, our maps of our homes. Everyone’s interpretation of space is different, and for some, it is a challenge. I enjoyed going back to my roots with this piece–I drew it much like I would have built up a charcoal drawing. Thanks AD Len Small.


One of my recent school projects that caused me quite a bit of grief. We were assigned a “collection” of a topic to make into a poster, and I got mollusks. My mollusk anatomy is a bit suspect, so please forgive the inaccuracies.

Click for a better look because tumblr resizing makes everything gross!


Just in case anyone out there didn’t already agree that the Dumbo Octopus (Grimpoteuthis) is one of the cutest creatures on the planet, today, thanks to the oceanographers operating the Exploration Vessel Nautilus, we learned that they’re also incredibly shy. But instead of swimming away when it feels bashful, the Dumbo Octopus hides behind its own adorable tentacles. Aww!

Almost as cute as the bashful octopus itself is the reaction of the scientists watching this footage as it was being recorded.

For more adventures with the scientists operating the E/V Nautilus, follow Nautilus Live on Facebook.

[via Neatorama and Gifsboom]