The Nautilus: This living fossil has existed for about 400 million years and is much more than the dinosaurs that appeared 200 million years ago! So let’s go to the discovery of this incredible animal that we do not know much about.
the characteristics of the nautilus
The nautilus is an invertebrate of the class of cephalopods and the subclass of Nautiloidea. It is located at the junction of molluscs, and it is found only in the Pacific Ocean. There are about 200 species ranging in size from 11 to 26 cm in diameter.
Nautiles have up to 90 tentacles without cupping, which allow them to firmly hold their prey. They hide in a spiral shell that serves as protection for their soft body. These animals have 4 gills 2 on the right and 2 on the left. They move by reaction by throwing water through a funnel. They can also crawl when they are on solid ground. Nautiluses have a relatively long-life cycle since they live 15 to 20 years.
A long reproductive cycle
Mature at the age of 10, the nautilus breeds for a few years by laying a dozen eggs per breeding season. The mating can last 24 hours during which the 2 animals wrap themselves with mucus. The female lays only a dozen eggs per season. Eggs 25 to 35 mm long are placed next to each other.
A carnivorous animal
The nautilus is a predator. It mainly eats fish, crabs and shrimps. To feed, it floats near the surface, expels its many tentacles and catches animals passing in its field of action.
An endangered species
Since the reproductive age is late and the maturation cycle is long, the population is declining. In addition, it is prized by humans for its shell. Indeed, as early as the 16th century, Western Pacific nautilus shells were highly prized by collectors, often very richly mounted and transformed into works of art. Nautilus shell cups have been particularly popular in Germany and the Netherlands. They are also used in jewelry making.
The English translation of “nautilus”, was chosen by Jules Verne to designate Captain Nemo’s submarine in his work “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”. Since then, it’s a symbol of technical progress, and that name is still very popular among submariners today.
If you know other details about these animals that have hardly changed, let us share your knowledge in the comments section.