This Week’s Theme: Nautilus
From the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California comes this very intriguing sea creature, the chambered nautilus. I love all the divergent patterns and colors throughout its entire body. What a delightful mandala-like being. And check out its orange and white eye. Fascinating!
A native of the tropical Pacific, this cousin of the octopus is a living link with the past—little changed for more than 150 million years. Its simple eyes can only sense dark and light, but the nautilus uses more than 90 tentacles—the most of any cephalopod—to touch and taste the world. A nautilus’s tentacles, unlike those of other cephalopods, have grooves and ridges that grip food and pass it to the nautilus’s mouth. A parrotlike beak rips the food apart, and a radula (found in most molluscs) further shreds the food.
A nautilus swims using jet propulsion—it expels water from its mantle cavity through a siphon located near its head. By adjusting the direction of the siphon, a nautilus can swim forward, backward or sideways.
“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.” ~ Robert Wyland