Mystery of the argonaut octopus

Octopi come in also sorts of shapes and sizes, but the argonaut octopus must be one of the strangest. The females secrete a thin, white shell, which is called a paper nautilus, and it does make them look like a nautilus. They tuck themselves and their eggs into it and drift through the sea. Sometimes these paper nautiluses contain trapped air, and its function has beenĀ  a mystery for many years. Some people have argued that the air is trapped accidentally and is a major problem for the octopus.

Julian Finn and Mark Norman have shown that they air is deliberately introduced by the females, and is used to acquire neutral buoyancy, meaning they can keep their position in the water column without having to expend any energy.

You can read more about it here.

About Neil Hambleton

I am a British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) Advanced Diver and an Open Water Instructor. I have been diving since 1992, after joining South China Diving Club (SCDC), which is a Hong Kong-based branch of the BSAC. Having moved to New Zealand, I am now a member of BSAC New Zealand.
This entry was posted in Wildlife and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Mystery of the argonaut octopus

  1. Paolo Fritz says:

    Wow..This is my first time seeing this kind of creature. It really looks like a nautilus. I wonder how that thin white shell functions?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>