April 18 2013,

Maybe you can’t put it in a reef tank but this alien paper nautilus, or argonaut, is the kind of freaky marine life you’d hope to see at a public aquarium. With a compressed, paper-thin shell, the Argonaut is a much lesser known yet abundant relative of the more commonly seen nautilus.

About two years ago a video surfaced showing a live argonaut specimen that was discovered in the shallows near a Spanish beach. More recently an argonaut was collected and brought to the Cabrillo aquarium in California, but that individual did not survive long enough to be put on display.

paper-nautilus-Umi no nakamichi Seaside ParkNow however, out of the blue a video has appeared showing a seemingly healthy paper nautilus chillin’ in a typical marine aquarium setting at the Umi no nakamichi Seaside Park in Japan. The incredible clip uploaded by Japan Marine Club brings incredible clarity to this amazing animal in the familiar aquarium environment that we all love.

The paper nautilus is in an aquarium with rock and sand, low flow and a small school of marine catfishes who seem to pay no mind to their otherworldly tankmate. The paper nautilus video is incredibly well made, shared in high definition allowing the armchair naturalist to make a wealth of observations about this little known creature. 


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