Paper nautilus

Argonauts (“sailors of the Argo”, are pelagic octopuses living in the open ocean in tropical and subtropical waters, while other octopus species crawl, hide and hunt at the bottom of the seabed worldwide. Their other name, paper nautilus, is derived from the greek term sailor (nautilos) as they were thought to use two arms as sails. The term paper, refers to the paper-thin shell that females secrete to use as a brood chamber for their eggs and to maintain buoyancy. In fact, argonauts use their shell to trap air from the water surface and dive to a depth where the body weight is counterbalanced by the trapped air. This allows them to effortless float several meters below the surface. Still with the idea in mind to reduce energy consumption, female argonauts are found to hitch rides with jellyfish or attach themselves to driftwood.

The present argonaut was caught (and released) during the TARA Pacific expedition when sailing from Indonesia to Palau using a Manta surface plankton/microplastic sampling trawl net. For additional pictures of this argonaut, please visit Kahi Kai Images

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