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Nautilus copulation

robyn

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Jan 19, 2007
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Hi all,

Here are some pictures of my nautiluses doing their thing.

I felt kind of rude taking the pictures while they were 'busy' - I admire their dedication, though, even with the flash they didn't stop!


In these pictures the male is on the right, or in the lower half - his tentacles are much thicker than the female's even though the body size is similar. I wonder if its sexual dimorphism to aid with grasping the female...

I've never seen copulation before so I was quite excited. I must say, it requires a certain type of delicate language to explain to people why they should drop what they're doing and come and look at your animals having sex.....
 

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robyn

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as an aside, here's a picture of the size difference and pattern difference in an animal from the Philippines (small one) and from Vanuatu (the big one).
 

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robyn

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yep, these are research animals at the MBL in Woods Hole. They're supplied by two wholesalers in California, but they can be hard to get - I waited about 8 weeks to get these guys.
 

gjbarord

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Interesting. I never thought about the tentacle size and I am fairly certain that no dimorphism has been reported from nautilus. I will have to look at our nautilus a little closer.

How long have those nautilus been in captivity??

Greg
 

robyn

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These guys have been my guests for only about 2 weeks.

Greg - do you have any suggestions about repairing buoyancy regulation in captive animals? These guys are floating, and although they seem quite healthy in terms of eating and mating (evidently), I want them to be able to swim downward through the water column as they would be able to normally. I'm guessing floating is an issue of shipping and fishing procedures - do you (or anyone else) know what exactly is the cause and whether I can do anything to help repair it?

Thanks.

R.
 

DWhatley

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Robyn,
As I recall you got about 6 of these guys several months back. You reported one dying from a possible infection but are the others still alive?

I have found that the term "mating" works pretty well, even with my granddaughter. There is a slight concern though, she (8 years) mentioned that our clown fish was "mating" with one of its hosting anemones yesterday.
 

robyn

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yes, they're still all doing fine - the one that died appeared not to have been infectious to the others, which have grown quite a bit, and are chilling out in their tanks enjoying a lighter experiment schedule. They're at my 'normal' university in Brooklyn. These new guys are part of a summer research thing at the MBL.
 
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