On Friday Dad and I went for a walk along the beach and had a surprise waiting for us. Two Nautilus shells!
We took them back to the boat and showed them to Mum.
These are photos of one of the the shells.
Nautiluses are animals that have been here for over 500,000,000 (five hundred million) years, a long time before humans arrived, which was 1,500,000 (one million and five hundred thousand) years ago. Unlike humans and other living organisms, they haven’t changed or evolved since they arrived.
The word “nautilus” comes from the Latin form of Ancient Greek word “vaut”.
Nautiluses are molluscs from the cephalopod family, Nautilidae.
They have a parrot like beak for ripping apart crustaceans. Nautiluses have blue blood, when it is oxygenated, unlike ours, which is red because of our haemoglobin cells.
They have a large shell which has a hole the shape of a bucket were the body and head of the Nautilus is kept. The actual shell is lined with mother-of-pearl (oyster) and is pressure resistant up to 800 meters below sea level!
Did you know that nautilus’s have eyes? Weird right? They use them to see if a predator is coming and how well their camouflage is working.
Nautiluses also have tentacles which they use for feeling and grabbing their prey.
Nautiluses can live up to twenty years old, fifteen in captivity. They feed mainly on lobsters, hermit crabs and carrion (dead animals) of any kind.
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