This lovely macro print shows the fine detail of the Nautilus shell (from Greek 'sailor') which is the common name of the ancient marine creatures of the cephalopod family Nautilidae. Fossil records indicate that nautiluses have not evolved much during the last 500 million years. Nautiluses are the sole living cephalopods whose bony body structure is externalized as a shell. The animal can withdraw completely into its shell and close the opening with a leathery hood formed from two specially folded tentacles.
In order to swim, the nautilus draws water into and out of the living chamber with its hyponome, which uses jet propulsion. In the wild, nautiluses usually inhabit depths of about 300 metres, rising to around 100 metres at night to feed, mate and lay eggs.
Photography by Doug Chinnery.