Friday Cephalopod: Nautilus!

Nautilus pompilius

From the Aquarium of the Pacific.


  1. #1 JeffreyD
    May 30, 2008

    Wow, seriously pretty. Is this best served lightly battered and deep fried or can it be grilled?

    OK, kidding, really. I come here to engage and read great discussions and to further my limited scientific eduction. However, I have also learned that I get to see the real beauty of the world in some of these photos. Thanks PZ and really enjoying PZ’s Playhouze.

    Ciao y’all

  2. #2 Serena
    May 30, 2008

    The best part about the Narly Nautilus is his (or hers) Stupendous Siphuncle!!

    Siiiph-uncle, Siiiph-uncle, Siiiii-phun-cle….(you can’t see me, but I’m doing a kick ass Jig, as well as singing a lovely tune). 🙂

  3. #3 Steven Seagal's Genius
    May 30, 2008

    Please say a prayer for its unevolved eye!

    Its the work of the Debbel!!

  4. #4 alex
    May 30, 2008

    lovely. looks rather surprised though.

  5. #5 valdemar
    May 30, 2008

    But where is the Shrimp Captain Nemo? Or maybe it’s better not to ask.

  6. #6 wazza
    May 30, 2008

    I loved the concept for the ammonite used in the antique print put on the cover of the Penguin Classics edition of Origin…

    the artist imagined the shell as the hull for a sort of sail-cephalopod, with two tentacles turned into sails or wings and the rest dangling in the water to catch fish…

    too bad it bears no relation to reality, but we can’t have everything

  7. #7 azqaz
    May 30, 2008


    Since nautilus think shrimp/prawn are tasty, I believe he mutinied and ate the captain. Now the Dread Pirate Nautilus plies the briny depths of the aquarium in search of other would be shrimp captains to take his revenge upon.

  8. #8 Snitzels
    May 30, 2008

    Oh I’m so glad you put this one up! The Nautilus is quite possibly one of the coolest creatures on earth, and is just absolutely beautiful.

  9. #9 thorn
    May 30, 2008

    The shell makes it like it’s got 80’s rock hair.

  10. #10 Kseniya
    May 30, 2008

    Beautiful, just beautiful. That comb-like moustache/beard thingie looks very familiar… It appears that Salvador Dali may have had a hand in putting the finishing touches on this beastie.

    Off-topic in the extreme, but I received a link to this marriage-equality petition site from the HRC by way of a friend who’s involved with MassEquality.

    So FWIW:

  11. #11 DDeden
    May 30, 2008

    truth in mislabeling?

    my octopodiatrist buddy in volgograd thinks it’s an octopus camouflaged as a naughtylust.

    i myself offer no substantiative comment, naturally… nor supernaturally.

  12. #12 Josh West
    May 30, 2008

    Another Cephalopod that made the news.

    Odd that the Firefox spell checker doesn’t like Cephalopod.

  13. #13 Glen Davidson
    May 30, 2008

    Best snails?

    (yes, yes, I know they’re not snails)

    Glen D

  14. #14 Adrian Mos
    May 30, 2008

    I still can’t figure out how it evolved such an interesting and multi-purpose equipment that enables it to swim (amongst other things).

    PS: I didn’t know they were that small

  15. #15 Fenix
    May 30, 2008

    Huzzah, i’ve been waiting for this little guy to show up some happy Friday.

  16. #16 Brownian, OM
    May 30, 2008

    I didn’t know they were that small

    I wish I had a nickel for every time a girl told me that.

  17. #17 Brownian, OM
    May 30, 2008

    Thanks for the video, Adrian. I didn’t realise they were such poor swimmers, bobbing around like that. I suppose they can swim quite quickly if need be?

  18. #18 Cal Harth
    May 30, 2008

    Are any of you contributers fossile collecters or have an understanding of Nautilous anatonmy and physiology?

    If you go out into the western Dacotas you may find ammonite fossiles that are six feet in diameter. Tooth-shell forms are abundant in many deposits.


  19. #19 James F
    May 30, 2008

    Elvis Nautilus has left the building.

  20. #20 Patricia C.
    May 30, 2008

    Nautilus is my favorite. Simply beautiful!
    I have a fossil – does anyone know how you can tell a girl Trilobite from a boy Trilobite?

  21. #21 Brian W.
    May 30, 2008

    The nautilus is definitely my favorite cephalopod. Partly because of their appearance in the game X-Com: Terror From The Deep.

  22. #22 Akheloios
    May 30, 2008

    I have a fossil – does anyone know how you can tell a girl Trilobite from a boy Trilobite?

    Because it’s a little meteor?

  23. #23 Sman
    May 30, 2008

    Cal, here is a link, to a pic, of a nice little “orthocerid” I collected from the Ordovician of Kentucky.

    Note the siphuncle.

  24. #24 Jaycubed
    May 31, 2008

    I would love to see a picture of Nautilus pompadourus pompilius.

    What, you don’t think a cephalopod King would look good wearing a pompadour?

  25. #25 JM Inc.
    May 31, 2008

    Although I’m still behind the octopus as the coolest class of animal on Earth, I’ve got to say, the Nautilus is just one of those things that can’t be ignored. Perhaps it is just a human fetish for certain shapes that tend to capture the imagination, but this is one beautiful creature (if I had any scientific status at all, this would be the part where the cdesign proponentsists would quote mine me for the word “creature” implying creation).

  26. #26 Ravelyn
    June 1, 2008

    an interesting cephy tidbit
    Jewelry made from cast octopus tentacles:

  27. #27 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 27, 2008

    spam!!!!! KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!

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