Science Main Index
The nautilus is native to deep ocean waters. It has a multi-chambered shell. Each chamber is sealed and contains gas which provides the nautilus with buoyancy to float. Like the octopus, squid and cuttlefish, the nautilus uses jet propulsion to move forward. It sucks in water, then expels it in a fast, strong stream to propel itself forward. The nautilus has as many as 90 small tentacles that it uses to catch food, such as shrimp, fish or small crustaceans. It then uses its powerful beak to crush the food. The nautilus is considered a living fossil because its form has remained unchanged for over 400 million years. Play the following videos to learn more about the nautilus.