Nautilus area free swimming group of shelled cephalopods that are beyond bizarre in their appearance, even when compared to other marine life. Large adult Nautilus can grow to ten inches in diameter, and their shells have been used as ornamentation for thousands of years but a tiny Nautilus is barely bigger than a cherry and undeniably adorable.
You would virtually never encounter a hatchling Nautilus in the wild but we know about them because, very rarely, they are sometimes born in public aquariums. Nautilus are prolific breeders in aquariums, laying dozens of eggs on a regular basis, but their incubation period is quite challenging.
Not only can it take around a year for Nautilus babies to hatch, not all of them ever hatch and of those that do, the attrition rate is very high. Such is the case for a clutch of Nautilu that was born at the Toba Aquairum in Japan late last year.
Twenty two young Nautilus were born but of those only two specimens have grown and developed into irresistibly cute baby nautilus. These tiny Nautiloids are nothing like the baby dumbo squid, which you either love or hate, but this is an incredible achievement by the Toba Aquarium staff nonetheless. Of course if they are alive and eating then that must mean that they are also growing and the two living juvenile Nautilus are already putting on size with their shells growing some 18 mm since they were born. [Toba Aquarium]