"Living fossil" arrives at the ABQ BioPark
Aquarium now features three chambered nautiluses
ALBUQUERQUE, NM - The ABQ BioPark Aquarium is now home to a new "living fossil"- the chambered nautilus.
The species is related to the octopus, squid and cuttlefish, and is known for its beautiful striped shell, which is internally arranged into spiral chambers that are added as the animal grows. Newly hatched nautiluses have four chambers and develop an average of 30 before adulthood. The chambers are filled with gas to maintain buoyancy and the animal adds liquid to the chambers to dive.
The chambered nautilus has inhabited the sea virtually unchanged for 500 million years, preceding dinosaurs by 256 million years. They live in tropical Pacific waters, but are threatened due to over-collecting for the sea shell trade.
"It's a special treat for the Aquarium to feature the beautiful chambered nautilus," said Holly Casman, ABQ BioPark aquarium manager. "We hope to raise more awareness of the species' fight for survival and what visitors can do to help."
Visitors can view the Aquarium's three chambered nautiluses daily across from the jellies.