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Paper Nautilus by MattTworkowski

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Small (23.2" x 15.3")

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Image taken at Blairgowrie Marina of this amazing Cephlapod, a very rare find, the first one I have ever seen alive in 7 years of diving. They often come into shallow waters to end their life cycle & allow their eggs to disperse.
This (super-)family of octopus-like cephalopods lives in pelagic habitats of the subtropics and tropics. Pelagic habitats are those of the free ocean water away from the bottom, especially at the water surface.

Though the argonaut is called paper nautilus, it is neither made from paper nor is it a nautilus. It not even is closely related to the nautilus, though both are cephalopods.

The argonaut’s shell is special among all molluscs. It is only built by the female, and only as case for the protection of the argonaut’s eggs, that are placed inside in long threads. The female argonaut lives in the shell’s entry and guards the eggs, until the young hatch. At the ends of the first tentacle pair the argonaut (argonauts like other octopus relatives have eight tentacles) has got wide sail-like flaps. Usually the female argonaut holds these flaps spread over the shell, but they also serve it to catch prey that swims into them.
The male argonaut is much smaller than the female. While the latter reaches a size of up to ten centimetres, the shell being up to 45 centimetres large, the male only reaches less than 2 centimetres size. The male argonaut is special because of its altered third tentacle, that is kept in a pouch until it is needed. Like among other cephalopods this tentacle is called the hectocotylus. The male argonaut, other than its larger relatives, often leaves its hectocotylus behind, the latter finding the target on its own. It seems obvious that the male argonaut dies after copulation, as no argonauts with their hectocotyli grown back have been found so far.

Comments

  • Traceyisanozzy
    Traceyisanozzyabout 3 years ago

    How absolutely mindblowingly fascinating Matt!!! You must have been over the moon when you came across this one!! Sounds like nature was working overtime when these guys were created, again, I am blown away by the information on these amazing creatures!! Congrats on finding it and taking a fantastic shot as well!! :))

  • Hi Trace, thanks very much, yes I was very excited but at the time only had my macro set up. Think I broke the diver land speed record getting back to my car to change to wide angle & luckily it was still where I found it. I only know of a few divers who have photographed them locally

    – MattTworkowski

  • Erik Schlogl
    Erik Schloglabout 3 years ago

    Amazing find and excellent capture, Matt!

  • bevanimage
    bevanimageabout 3 years ago

    I’ve only ever seen dead ones, Matt; prepared specimens. This is a brilliant capture of this amazing creature, and your little biography really adds to the experience. Great work!

  • Vickie Burt
    Vickie Burtabout 3 years ago

    What a fascinating find Matt!. I am amazed by the variety of marine life found on our Peninsula. Thank you so much for all the info. Neary forgot, beautiful photo!

  • yook
    yookabout 3 years ago

    Brilliant welldone.
    great to get such a descriptive writeup too.

  • puffin
    puffinabout 3 years ago

    neat shot !!!

  • Charmiene Maxwell-batten
    Charmiene Maxw...about 3 years ago

    superb!

  • LindaR
    LindaRabout 3 years ago

    what an exceptional find and spectacular capture ~ truly Matt ~ you expanded my world this morning, never even knew these creatures existed ~ marveling over them now reading up on other websites, what a wonder!! thanks for this treat this morning!! xx

  • joancaronil
    joancaronilabout 3 years ago

    Very nice and curious picture of this amazing and rare to find cephalopod.

  • Gary L   Suddath
    Gary L Suddathabout 3 years ago

    stunning find and capture

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