A rare find: baby nautilus

Some animals reproduce pretty routinely in aquariums. But it's extremely rare for a nautilus. So imagine the surprise of our staff and volunteers when they spotted not one, not two, but three bouncing baby nautiluses while cleaning the Deep Pacific Coral exhibit.

The nautilus belongs to the cephalopod family (along with the squid and the octopus), and it's sometimes called a living fossil because it has evolved relatively little over millions of years. It lives in water that's nearly 1,000 feet deep, so its exhibit is kept very dark, making it even tougher to spot the babies, which are only about 2.5 or 3 cm (about 1 inch) long.

The photo at the top shows what an adult nautilus looks like, and the photo below shows one of the babies alongside an aquarist's hand.

Read this blog post to learn more about the nautilus and to see a video of the unusual way the nautilus moves.

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