SY Dog Star

A family sailing the Pacific

Nautilus Shells

Hey everybody!

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.

By © Hans Hillewaert, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

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.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment down below!

Iris 🙂


  1. Granny Bardsley

    June 26, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Hi Iris

    Very interesting, Iris! These are another form of life which manages its own habitat and way of life so well, and so unlike those of a human. We couldn’t cope, living on the food they eat, or inhabiting their environment with ease. And yet they have been doing the same things for all of those years. It must suit them! Most other species have been forced to adapt in some way. I did not know that they had blue blood.

    You are gathering enough knowledge to become a marine biologist before you thought you might! This is such a great adventure and I really like that you are sharing it.

    • Iris Marshall

      June 28, 2018 at 12:04 pm

      Hey Granny!

      Thanks for commenting!
      It is very interesting that they have never adapted isn’t it?
      Hope everything is good in Carterton!
      Looking forward to your visit!

      Iris 🙂

  2. Christine Blair

    June 26, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    That’s a pretty freaky looking creature up close! I wouldn’t mind living off lobsters but not carrion thank you. Are they mainly found around New Caledonia?

    I’m really enjoying your blogs Iris. Well done. Xx

    • Iris Marshall

      June 28, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      Hey Aunty Christine!

      It is pretty freaky, though I don’t think that they harm humans…
      I think they may be a big thing around the Pacific but I am not to sure.
      Say hello to Kevin for and those little rascals for me.

      Iris 🙂

  3. Granny Barbara

    June 26, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Really interesting blog
    , Iris. It’s a beautiful shell. I’d think you’ll want to keep it as a treasure all your life. You’re getting to see so many different creatures in this part of the world…. I hear you’ve seen a dugong and a giant turtle.. amazing..such a great adventure. xx

    • Iris Marshall

      June 28, 2018 at 12:15 pm

      Hello Granny Barbara!

      It is a very beautiful shell, we actually have two which is pretty lucky, maybe a christmas present for someone this year…
      The turtles are amazing here and we have seen four or five so far!
      I hope everything is well in Australia!

      Iris 🙂

  4. Mark Del Franco

    June 27, 2018 at 3:46 am

    Awesome finds! I love drawing nautiluses! For a special treat, look up the Golden Ratio–a nautilus grows mathematically in the golden ratio. With a little practice, you can draw a perfect one yourself!

    Great info! (although I suspect humans have not evolved as much as we hope, lol)

    • Iris Marshall

      June 28, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      Hey Mark!

      Cool hobby! I definitely will search that up, thanks for giving me the link!
      Have you been to any cool countries lately?
      Thanks for commenting!

      Iris 🙂

  5. Wow Iris… there are some freaky little alien creatures scuttling around this earth. Blue blood, tentacles and eyes (that look like fungi). Sam did a project once on the Angler fish once. Gave me nightmares for weeks 😉 Love to all xx

  6. Hi its mindy
    I always thought of nautiluses as rely interesting and the fact that you found two shells is amazing! (or as I would normaly say, brilliant!)
    lots of love

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