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Argonautidae Family

Shell Families

  1. Condiae Family
  2. Cowrie Family
  3. Murex Family
  4. Spondylus Family
  5. Turbinidae Family
  6. Volutidae Family
  7. Argonautidae Family
  8. Nautilidae Family
  9. Chamidae Family
  10. Dried Sea Life Family
  11. Strombidae Family
  12. Trochidae Family
  13. Myacidae Family
  14. Haliotidae Family
  15. Tunnidae Family
  16. Specimen Family
  17. Olividae Family
  18. Cassidae Family
  19. Pleurotomariidae Family
  20. Dentaliidae Family
  21. Large Decorative Shells
  22. Angariinae Family
  23. Xenophoridae Family
  24. Neritidae Family

Myacidae Family
  Argonautidae Family
Paper Nautilus

Many classify this shell as a member of the Nautilus family. It does not have chambers like the nautilus nor is there any similarity in the shell construction. The animal in the shell is a member of the octopus family. Because the shell is paper thin and resembles a Chambered Nautilus shell on the outside it has become known as the Paper Nautilus. When you look inside you will see it does not have chambers like the Nautilus.

The shell is not a shell as we think of shells with a living animal attached. It is an egg case. The mother argonauta created it for the purpose of laying her eggs to protect her babies. The Greeks saw the mother octopus sailing around in the egg case and mistook her sail-like flaps as a means of movement and associated her with their mythical ship the Argo. This is how the name Argonauta came into being. They named the animal after the Argonauts. The Argonauts were Greek heroes who traveled by ship to obtain the golden fleece.

You do not see many Paper Nautiluses in collections. They are delicate and hard to obtain in good condition. At the present time I have some seconds that are reasonably priced . If you prefer, I have gem quality also.

Argonautidae Family

Paper Nautilus
Paper Nautilus
Larger image

Paper Nautilus
Paper Nautilus
Larger image

Paper Nautilus
Paper Nautilus
Larger image

Argonauta argo, Linnaeus, 1758
Paper Nautilus


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