paper-Nautilus

A somewhat ridiculous plating of cephalopods from the Internet Archive Book Images (https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/). What’s interesting is that the artist understood that the chambered nautilus belonged in the image, but clearly had no concept of what they look like or act like. Ended up looking more like a snail than a cephalopod.

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Genus Argonauta

(literally meaning Sailor on the Argo)

Commonly known as the paper nautilus as they bare some resemblance to a nautilus, but in fact they are a group of octopi. they are called paper nautili because the females excrete a paper thin eggcase, not a true shell. they can be found in tropical open ocean waters worldwide, closer to the surface than other ocotpi which usually live near the seabed. they can be identified by the females “shell” large eyes and unique mantle, they are extremely dimorphic as females have a shell and grow up to 10cm with a shell of 30cm, but males are alot smaller at 2cm and no shell. they got their name sailor on the argo from the historical misconception that they sail on the surface using their tentacles, this was mentioned in 20,000 leauges under the sea

Phylogeny

Animalia-Mollusca-Cephalopoda-Octopoda-Argonautoida-Argonautidae-Argonauta

I wish I could take credit for this photo…but my fellow student, Craig, photographed this paper nautilis Argonauta spp. that was brought into our lab yesterday!

He has a big ol fancy diving camera set-up (he says it costs the amount of a small vehicle) and took this photo IN the lab. :)

It’s so awesome out here!

Sometimes I feel alone. Some days are long and hard. But when I look out into this world, I am struck by the impossible beauty of it all. Those billions of magnificent accidents that led us to where we are today, that led us to paper planes and nautilus shells and the tiny, crooked smiles of children. When I think about the small perfections of the world, I have faith that my time will come. I have faith that someday, a warm light will flood over me and I will find peace.
—  Avery Monsen, All My Friends Are Dead
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Video of a Paper Nautilus in an aquarium located in Japan. What an amazing animal, it is beautiful.

Paper nautiluses, also called argonauts, secrete the shells to serve as cases for their eggs—but it has recently been discovered that they also function as air-trapping ballast tanks, which allow the cephalopods to hang effortlessly in the water column without sinking. This is the only species known to use surface air bubbles to effectively control the animals’ buoyancy.

Common paper nautilus; Argonauta argo; warm worldwide seas

“The octopus genus Argonauta (often called paper nautiluses) are named after explorers of Greek legends. To me, however, these animals are equal parts classic mythology and futuristic science fiction!

As a child I often dreamed of being able to fly, and I sometimes wonder of the ancestors of this group felt the same way. Most octopuses are built to live as bottom dwellers – they’re well adapted for crawling on the ocean floor, but they’re poor swimmers. Female paper nautiluses have developed a way to explore other parts of the water column. They can secrete hard, spiral shaped objects that were once thought to be the species’ egg cases. Scientists now believe that these objects are more like ‘ships.’ Paper nautiluses have been observed crawling inside these spirals, tipping them to the surface to trap air inside, and then using them to swim with neutral buoyancy at a variety of depths.

Male paper nautiluses do not produce these spiral vessels. To increase the chance of fertilizing a floating female, they have evolved detachable penises that can be ‘launched’ into the water and swim independently. Fire the torpedoes!

As a museum interpreter, I’ve met many people who are passionate about octopuses, but few have ever heard of the Argonaut group and their unusual abilities. I love sharing the unusual story behind this treasure when visitors explore our museum.”

Derek Jang, Interpretive Delivery Specialist – Volunteers and Member Events at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Paper Nautilus

Photograph by Robert Sisson, National Geographic

Females of this unusual octopus species sequester themselves in thin, translucent shells with which they drift across the open seas. Paper nautiluses, also called argonauts, secrete the shells to serve as cases for their eggs—but it has recently been discovered that they also function as air-trapping ballast tanks, which allow the cephalopods to hang effortlessly in the water column without sinking. This is the only species known to use surface air bubbles to effectively control the animals’ buoyancy.