Agonistic Behavior in Nautilus

gjbarord

Sepia elegans
Staff member
Moderator
#1
I was not sure where to post this so here goes... Has anyone read about courtship, or agonistic behaviors, in Nautilus pompilius. I have witnessed some interesting behavior in our captive nautilus. The behaviors I saw seemed to be some sort of courtship behavior as the nautilus are believed to be maturing at this point.

Greg
 

sorseress

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#2
How about some video, or at some description of the behaviours you witnessed? Would video be possible?
(Not that I would have any thing intelligent to say about it anyway, but there are those here who could). :wink:
 

robyn

Vampyroteuthis
Supporter
#5
I've definitely seen captive animals have chunks taken out of their hoods and funnels during food contests, although I've never witnessed non-food related aggression, and ours don't show breeding behaviour at all (probably because they're on a constant temperature regime). I'm curious to hear more too.

The Waikiki Aquarium has bred nautilus successfully, I have an email address for one of the keepers..pm me if you want it.

Robyn,
 

gjbarord

Sepia elegans
Staff member
Moderator
#6
Our collection is kept at a constant temperature of about 17 C. There has been egg laying in the past even with the colder temperatures; nothing successful though. I do know that nautilus will copulate for hours and hours (and even more hours). I spoke to a colleague at Waikiki and he had not witnessed any of these behaviors either. That seems to be the answer I am getting from everyone. I will definitely get some photographs and possible video up as soon as I get my bearings on all of the facts. I want to observe them a few more times to be sure that this is not a one time occurrence. I have observed it twice so far.

Water parameters are all normal and there do not seem to be any other signs of health problems with the specimens.

And no you will not have to wait for the publication, but if there is one I want to be sure I have everything lined up very quickly for it. You can never be too careful...:grin:

Greg
 

cuttlegirl

Colossal Squid
Supporter
Registered
#7
The Waikiki Aquarium cycled the temperature in the Nautilus tanks daily. Also the tanks where most of the egg laying occurred (at least when I was there...) were ag-containers with an opaque lid. In other words, unless it was feeding time, the Nautilus were in darkness and unobservable. The Waikiki Aquarium has behind-the-scenes containers with Nautilus and then a few Nautilus on display.
 

sorseress

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#8
Greg, if you're seriously thinking publication be careful about how much you post here first. Not that we don't want to be in on everything from the beginning, but you know how publishers can be.
 

robyn

Vampyroteuthis
Supporter
#9
Hmm - thinking about what cuttlegirl said - our tanks are in darkness 24/7 too, and they're observed very infrequently by anyone other than ourselves (which we usually do in darkness), so its possible there has been some reproductive behaviour going on but we've been missing it. I've never had any eggs laid though.
 

Steve O'Shea

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#10
Total darkness, or with red light? I've always been wary of total darkness; I don't think it is absolutely necessary (but I have no experience with Nautilus) - and neither have I found red light all that beneficial either (but at least it lets you see them).

As a complete aside, if anyone has a dead, preserved Nautilus (animal) then I'd do a jolly good swap for it!
 

cuttlegirl

Colossal Squid
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Registered
#11
Steve O'Shea;97899 said:
Total darkness, or with red light? I've always been wary of total darkness; I don't think it is absolutely necessary (but I have no experience with Nautilus) - and neither have I found red light all that beneficial either (but at least it lets you see them).

As a complete aside, if anyone has a dead, preserved Nautilus (animal) then I'd do a jolly good swap for it!
I don't think the Waikiki Aquarium was keeping them in total darkness on purpose, but the container was opaque white plastic as was the lid. I think they had a lid to try and keep the water as cool as possible in the tropics... These were the animals that were kept behind-the-scenes so it didn't matter if you could see them or not.

I will check with a few friends to see if I can procure a dead Nautilus for you.:sly:
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#12
cuttlegirl;97903 said:
I will check with a few friends to see if I can procure a dead Nautilus for you.:sly:
Y'know, I really enjoy having friends who say things like this.

I was told a story yesterday about a friend's sister who found a beached/ill seal, and spent hours trying to find any rescue organization who could help. Unfortunately, this was quite a while ago, because my mind went immediately to thinking about who on TONMO I could ask who would almost certainly offer suggestions. Apparently, since this was near San Diego, the sheriffs told her the seaworld folks were the only option, but their marine mammal hotline wasn't answering their phone :-(
 

robyn

Vampyroteuthis
Supporter
#13
no, not total darkness all the time - I don't really like that idea either. The tanks are under a blue-light filter during the day, making them very dimly illuminated, and are dark at night. I've used red light for experiments before but I think they can see it.

No preserved ones here, unfortunately, but I might have some at some stage.
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#14
robyn;97910 said:
no, not total darkness all the time - I don't really like that idea either. The tanks are under a blue-light filter during the day, making them very dimly illuminated, and are dark at night. I've used red light for experiments before but I think they can see it.

No preserved ones here, unfortunately, but I might have some at some stage.
This seems to suggest they're unlikely to see red in the 680-700nm range: http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/reprint/126/1/513.pdf although a lot of red lights aren't monochromatic... what kind of lighting was it?

http://ledmuseum.home.att.net/specx51.htm seems to show that even red LEDs often have some spectral component in the range cephs can see, though...
 

Graeme

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
#15
Interesting! I've never been able to imagine any positive behaviour in nautiluses, and have only ever been able to imagine them just bobbing up and down in a fairly unobtrusive and rather humourous manner:lol:
 

cuttlegirl

Colossal Squid
Supporter
Registered
#16
monty;97909 said:
Y'know, I really enjoy having friends who say things like this.

I was told a story yesterday about a friend's sister who found a beached/ill seal, and spent hours trying to find any rescue organization who could help. Unfortunately, this was quite a while ago, because my mind went immediately to thinking about who on TONMO I could ask who would almost certainly offer suggestions. Apparently, since this was near San Diego, the sheriffs told her the seaworld folks were the only option, but their marine mammal hotline wasn't answering their phone :-(
Yikes, I could have helped, I used to work for a marine mammal rescue center in Southern California, so I know all the centers in the area... Next time, call the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, they are always willing to help...
 

robyn

Vampyroteuthis
Supporter
#17
Graeme - you have just described about 9/10 of my thesis video analysis.

Sometimes they do other stuff which is much cooler, just not very often!
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#18
Guess I just getting old. Neal has to drag me away anytime one shows up at a fish store. I think their bobbing is at least as interesting as fish swimming around in a tank. Maybe if I had one I would lose my facination but watching a live fossil bob or leafy sea dragons swim is mesmerizing to me.
 

Opcn

GPO
Supporter
#19
monty;97909 said:
I was told a story yesterday about a friend's sister who found a beached/ill seal, and spent hours trying to find any rescue organization who could help. Unfortunately, this was quite a while ago, because my mind went immediately to thinking about who on TONMO I could ask who would almost certainly offer suggestions. Apparently, since this was near San Diego, the sheriffs told her the seaworld folks were the only option, but their marine mammal hotline wasn't answering their phone :-(


Most places ignore seal calls because it is both natural and healthy for seals to go up on to beaches, in fact in some areas the biggest problem with seal harassment is well meaning but ill informed people rushing down on the the beaches to save them and chasing them off the beeches.
 

Graeme

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
#20
robyn;97916 said:
Graeme - you have just described about 9/10 of my thesis video analysis.

Sometimes they do other stuff which is much cooler, just not very often!

:lol: Excellent! I'd love to see that. I did hear that unless they anchor themselves to a rock or something then they whizz about like nobody's business while asleep.:lol: Given that they breath and move uing the same funnel.
 

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