Nautilus In Fiji

The Nautilus (Nautilidae) is a mollusk of the cephalopod family (Cephalopoda), which also includes squid, octopus, and cuttlefish. The Nautiluses differ from the other cephalopods living today by a number of features, mainly by the large, hard outer shell that serves as a living space and swimming aid

The shell of the Nautilidae is unique in its construction and function.  The spiral shell is divided into individual chambers, the outer and largest chamber houses the mollusk, the other spiral-shaped chambers are used to control buoyancy. The individual chambers are connected by a kind of thin tube through which the animal can slowly ad or remove liquid from the chambers and thus change buoyancy.

Nautilidae Fiji

Nautilidae live mainly in the western Pacific and in some areas of the Indian Ocean, exclusively in the tropical area and especially on the slopes of reefs. The animals usually stay at depths of 100 to 400 meters. At night, the animals occur at lower depths in some places. As nocturnal predators, they feed mainly on small crabs, but also on carrion.

Nautiloid Fiji

Conservation

Nautilidae are particularly at risk the shell is a popular souvenir and collector’s item. At least two types of Nautiluses serve as food and are caught by traps.

In 2016 all species in Family Nautilidae were added to CITES Appendix II, regulating international trade.[39][40]

 

The Nautilus shown on those images here were caught during a research project of Ovalau barrier reefs in 2007. Caught in a crab trap approx 300 outside Waitovu Passage from a depth of about 300 meters.

More Images: https://www.owlfiji.com/gallery_live_nautilus.htm

 

More about the Chambered Nautilus:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nautilus
https://www.cites.org/eng/new_CITES_trade_rules_come_into_effect_as_2017_starts_02012017
https://www.fws.gov/international/cites/cop17/ussubmissions/chambered_nautilus_appendixII.pdf