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Nautilus embryo video


Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Nov 19, 2002
Hi everyone,

Received the email below this morning, via the ceph research mailing list, and thought it might interest some folks here, too.

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Over the years (decades!), we’ve published several papers on the collecting, husbandry and breeding of chambered nautilus. I now want to augment those papers with some of the video and photo assets that we have accumulated during fieldwork, and especially some of the images of the nautilus embryos in the aquarium. I have posted a 3-minute video on our “Nautilus Breeding Program” on YouTube.

I omitted some of the details on how we set the traps and the trap design (the trap in the video is not our design and was very inefficient). Even though these details are published, I felt it would be best not to reveal everything in a YouTube video.

The late Dr. John Arnold gave me photos that he took of our nautilus embryos. I don’t recall that he ever published them so I have included them in the YouTube video. IMO they are really fascinating images.

I have also included video of one living embryo taken over a three-month period. What amazed me is that cutting open the egg capsule did not kill the embryo. It survived right up to hatching (although it literally fell out of the egg capsule that was cut open). This suggests to me that opening younger egg capsules and tracking their development could yield a more complete video/photo record of embryonic development. Better yet, this should be done with higher resolution cameras and lenses than I had available back in the 1990’s.

For the “cephalopodites” on this list, here is another link to a video of a squid egg “raft” that we encountered on the Great Barrier Reef back in 1996. I recently posted that video on YouTube as well.


BRUCE CARLSON, Science Officer, Emeritus, Georgia Aquarium


Blue Ring
Jun 13, 2011
Thanks Tintenfisch, and thanks TONMO, it's a privilege to see these images. Carlson et al's work with reproduction and embryology at Waikiki Aquarium holds a prominent place in the Nautilus literature.