Rare nautilus spotted near Papua New Guinea

For the first time in nearly 30 years, scientists have spotted a rare type of nautilus off the coast of Ndrova Island in Papua New Guinea, The Seattle Times reports. Known as Allonautilus scrobiculatus, the creature, which has a hairy, slimy covering on its shell, was first discovered in 1984, but has rarely been seen since. In the summer surveys that revealed the animal, scientists had been lowering cages of fish and chicken into water 150 meters to nearly 400 meters deep to lure the scavengers. In one survey, two of the better known chambered nautiluses dueled over the bait before both were shoved aside by a large sunfish. Because nautiluses have survived and seemingly changed little over the past 500 million years, they are sometimes called living fossils. Today, however, many are threatened by overharvesting—their shells are often used for jewelry—and seafloor mining.

PETER WARD

Friday, August 28, 2015 – 5:30pm

Source: Rare nautilus spotted near Papua New Guinea | Science/AAAS | News

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