Fun Chambered Nautilus Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Chambered nautilus facts are about this an interesting marine animal.

The chambered nautilus is regarded by many to be a living fossil and is also known as the nautilus. The nautilus is a mollusk and part of the family cephalopods and is related closely to octopus, cuttlefish, and squid.

They have significantly more tentacles in the nautilus compared to other family members. They use their tentacles to grab shrimps, fishes, and tiny crustaceans which are crushed using their mighty beak.

The nautilus is mostly said to depend on its smell when hunting for food or a partner.

The nautilus is found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, spending hours of daylight at a depth of 1,800 ft (548.6 m). They travel to shallow seas in the night to feed on coral reefs.

Regrettably, they are declining because they are harvested for their lovely coats. Refusing to buy nautilus shells, considered prized by the shell collectors, is one way you can help to rescue this incredible species.

Read further to know more interesting facts about the chambered nautilus. You can also check out facts on coconut octopus and mimic octopus.

Chambered Nautilus Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a chambered nautilus?

The chambered nautilus belongs to the genus Nautilus.

What class of animal does a chambered nautilus belong to?

The chambered nautilus belongs to the Cephalopoda class.

How many chambered nautiluses are there in the world?

There are six living species of chambered nautilus (Nautilus pompilius) in the world. The population is not known, but because of their slow growth rate, their number is declining in the world.

Where does a chambered nautilus live?

Chambered nautiluses (Nautilus pompilius) are found in the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, and American Samoa.

What is a chambered nautilu's habitat?

The nautilus pompilius (chambered nautilus) are found in tropical warm waters in Southeast Asia and Australia. They spend most of the daytime in deep waters at 2300 ft (701 m), and at night, they also migrate to shallow waters of 250 ft (76.2 m). They are also found at the bottom of the ocean and near coral reefs

Who do chambered nautiluses live with?

Chambered nautiluses live in groups which is one of the major reasons for their declining nautilus populations.

How long does a chambered nautilus live?

These nautiluses can live up to 20 years. This is the longest age for any species in the family cephalopod.

How do they reproduce?

They are the longest living cephalopods, having an average life span of 15-20 years. They are the only species that can reproduce multiple times compared to other cephalopod species that die after reproducing once. It takes 10-15 years for them to become sexually mature. It is imperative for them to move to warmer tropical waters to mate.

This species reproduces by internal fertilization. The male fish transfers its sperm to the females through its modified tentacles. The females then attach fertilized eggs to hard substrates on the ocean floor, where the eggs remain on the seabed for up to a full year.

Newly born youths already have small, well-developed shells. They generate a limited number of eggs every year, generally 12 eggs in their lifetime. These eggs require an incubation period of at least one year.

What is their conservation status?

This species is Not Evaluated under the IUCN. The chambered nautilus is given protection under the Endangered Species Act by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

This shell species has survived five mass extinctions because of shell overharvesting over a million years. The population in the Philippines has reduced by more than 80% in the last 15 years due to overharvesting for their shells.

This Endangered Species Act protection benefits nautilus conservation. They are also threatened by the acidification of the oceans which makes it difficult for these cephalopods to develop shells essential for their survival.

Chambered Nautilus Fun Facts

What do chambered nautiluses look like?

This ancient marine animal has existed for 500 million years. Nautiluses are extremely famous for their lovely coiled shells. These shells may be colored with distinctive color patterns from white to orange. Over 90 suckerless tentacles protrude from the shell.

Chambered Nautilus

How cute are they?

The colorful appearance of the shell of these nautiluses makes cephalopods extremely cute. The external shell of nautiluses has an orange-white pattern making them look beautiful underwater.

How do they communicate?

Another feature of cephalopods is their incredible capacity to communicate by using chromatophores. Chromatophores are pigments in their cells that expand and contract which can cause color variations in the skin of the cephalopod.

How big is a chambered nautilus?

Nautiluses are the largest of the six species of the cephalopod family which have not changed since the last 500 million years, like the coelacanth. They can grow to be 8 in (20.3 cm) in length upon maturity.

As they move along the outer layer, the cephalopod builds chambers that increase in size. A mature adult is said to have 30 of these chambers. Vampire squids are only slightly bigger than them, while some species of jellyfishes may be as much as eight times bigger.

How fast can chambered nautiluses move?

The nautilus' populations use jet propulsion with their mantle cavity to navigate through the ocean by sucking in the water and spitting it out. They are known as the ocean's most efficient jet engines.

Their actual speed is not known, but it is said that jet propulsion, with the help of their mantle cavity, is a very efficient source of energy.

How much does a chambered nautilus weigh?

The average weight of these living fossil fishes varies from 2-2.8 lb (907.2-1270.1 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no different name for the males and female species. Both are known as nautilus.

What would you call a baby chambered nautilus?

There is no specific name for the offspring of these cephalopods. They are commonly known as a baby chambered nautilus.

What do they eat?

These animals who feed at night mostly prey on dead animals, small fishes, crabs, shrimps, and sometimes other nautiluses. Since they lack vision, they detect their prey by their sense of smell.

Their prey is grabbed by its retractable tentacles and transferred to the mouth, where it is torn into pieces by a beak-like jaw. They are an important part of the foodchain.

Are they dangerous?

The populations of this species are so loved by people that they are endangered. Their nautilus shells are admired by nautilus shell collectors which has caused them to be overharvested in their habitat.

Would they make a good pet?

No, cephalopods do not make good pets. However, they can be found in large aquariums and zoos, where they are kept in large water tanks to help them in their movement.

However, these shell animals are not able to reproduce in captivity because they are not able to survive for a long time in it. It is better to leave these harmless creatures in the wild habitat.

Did you know...

These nautiluses are one of six nautilus species. They are the only cephalopods that have external shells. This species may withdraw totally in its shell if attacked like most other shelled creatures.

Their eyes have no cornea or lens.

Cephalopods have better-evolved eyes, huge brains, and a bag, out of which black mucosal ink is released. This ink is used to guard and cover-up. The ink darkens the cephalopod and can irritate the predator's sight, enabling the cephalopod to flee.

Why is the chambered nautilus so unique?

The long lifespan and their visible, colorful shell make them unique. The chambered nautilus shell also offers them protection, making them very special. Moreover, their unchanged virtual appearance for millions of years makes them unique and special.

How many chambers does a nautilus have?

The shell of the nautilus is filled with chambers. When they hatch, the baby nautilus has about four chambers but it develops more chambers as it develops. An adult nautilus has 30 chambers. These chambers are filled with gases that help the nautilus in their movement by injecting and releasing water.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these coconut octopus facts and giant squid facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable chambered nautilus coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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