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Sea Shell - Pearled Nautilus

 
    
 Nautilus pompilius 
    
    
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A fine art photograph by Ruth Burke.

Nautilus (from Greek ναυτßλος, 'sailor') is the common name of any marine creatures of the cephalopod family Nautilidae, the sole family of the suborder Nautilina. It comprises six species in two genera, the type of which is the genus Nautilus. Though it more specifically refers to the species Nautilus pompilius, the name chambered nautilus is also used for any species of the Nautilidae.

Having survived relatively unchanged for millions of years, nautiluses represent the only living members of the subclass Nautiloidea, and are often considered to be "living fossils."

The name "Nautilus" originally referred to the Argonauta, otherwise known as paper nautiluses, because they allegedly use their two expanded arms as sails (cf. Aristotle Historia Animalium 622b).

 
 
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