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Nautilus Ventilation


Sepia elegans
Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Feb 1, 2007
Des Moines, Iowa
Does anyone have any information on Nautilus ventilation? When a nautilus closes its shell is it still able ventilate?? There is no funnel movement outside of the shell and no perceived effluent coming out of the hood.

My feeling is that they do - even with the hood closed, looking behind the eye in the gap b/w shell and hood, you can usually see the mantle moving back and forth, even if the funnel is completely withdrawn. Although I have definitely seen animals appear to stop all signs of breathing for 30 minutes or more. And there hypoxia tolerance is supposed to be really high, so I imagine they could go long periods without breathing if necessary. Have you tried a dye test to track water flow around the hood when its closed?
I may have to try the dye method. It would make sense that nautilus are able to cease all signs of ventilation ( to the naked eye) given their behavior and habitat. Thanks.


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