What’s A Nautilus?
The Nautilus is often called a living fossil because similar organisms have existed since before the dinosaursNautilus are mollusks that inhabit tropical waters around the Indo-Pacific. They use the carbonate in seawater to make their shells.
More than ninety suckerless tentacles protrude from a nautilus’s shellThey prey on crustaceans like shrimp along with dead fish. They possess a beak for crushing prey. Nautiluses have poor eyesight. So it is assumed that they use their sense of smell to locate prey.
A nautilus will move closer to the surface at night to hunt and relocate to deeper waters during the day to avoid predators. The nautilus’s shell consists of a series of chambersMore chambers are added as the nautilus grows.
The nautilus occupies the outermost chamber. The other chambers are used to regulate buoyancyThey utilize their siphon to propel themselves through the water by pumping air and water in and out of their shell.
A nautilus can live for over 20 yearsHowever, they do not reach reproductive maturity until 10 to 15 years of age. At this point, females will only produce about 12 eggs per year. After mating, a female will lay her eggs and attach them to a hard surface
The eggs take nine to twelve months to hatch. Newly hatched eggs resemble miniature adults. Due to their low reproductive rates, slow growth, and late maturity, nautilus populations are considered threatened.
They are targeted for their shells that are sold commercially for art, furniture, and jewelry. They may be preyed upon by sharks, triggerfish, and octopuses