Sam's Tours Blog

Critter feature: The Nautilus

The nautilus is a beautiful sea creature not commonly seen during diving.  It is a cephalopod which belongs to the family Nautilidae, subclass Nautiloidea, which has survived unchanged for millions of years, and are usually called as “living fossils”. They are found in the Indo-Pacific, usually inhabiting the deep coral reefs, up to around 700 meters.  The nautilus are the only members of the cephalopod family whose bony body structure is externalized as a shell.  Their tentacles are ridged, ciliated and are very powerful, numbering to ninety, and serves an olfactory purpose.  Swimming is by jet propulsion. They use their sense of olfaction to find food and to locate potential mates, and are known to be scavengers and opportunistic predators.  The nautilus reproduce by laying eggs.  The fertilized eggs are attached to rocks in shallow waters by the gravid female, and it takes eight to twelve months to develop until the it hatch.  They spawn once a year.  The lifespan of a nautilus reaches twenty years!

In Palau, Sam’s tours offers a special dive trip to people who want to see this beautiful creature.  It is a visual treat for the divers, and an unusual and memorable critter encounter.  The dive usually starts with the careful handling and interaction with the nautilus at around 20ft.  Afterwards, they are released and allowed to descend again to their natural habitat.   The rest of the dive is spent exploring the reef’s wall.

Come join us and experience this once in a lifetime opportunity to see the Nautilus!

Nautilus at Short drop Off

two of thirteen nautilus this morning!

Nautilus at Short drop Off

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This entry was posted on June 7, 2012 by in critter feature, diving, palau.

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