The wonderfully shaped nautilus shell in its natural state has brown tiger like stripes decorating its surface.
Related to the octopus, squid and clams, the spiralled nautilus shell is divided into chambers with the animal occupying the outermost chamber.
A newly hatched nautilus begins life with about four chambers and develops an average of 30 chambers by adulthood. The inner chambers are filled with gas and help the nautilus to maintain neutral buoyancy. By adding liquid to the chambers it is then able to dive.
The nautilus is also considered to be a "living fossil" having undergone little change in over 400 million years.
They dominated the ancient seas before the rise of fishes and appeared about 265 million years before the first dinosaurs. In prehistoric times there were about 10,000 different species of the nautilus, but only five species have survived to the present day.
As a natural specimen, the species is susceptible to naturally occurring growth lines and will have acquired minor marks and imperfections during its lifetime, these are very much part of the individual character and charm of this very special shell species.
Although not currently listed by CITES as being endangered, we believe the species is currently under threat and have therefore taken the decision to stop selling new shells.
From time to time when we know the providence, we occasional sell old specimens.
The Nautilus shell available here was found (already dead I should add) approximately 45 year ago in the shallow waters off Rabaul on the Island of East New Britain which is a province of Papua New Guinea.
Rabaul used to be the capital until it was largely destroyed in a volcanic eruption in 1994.
The photos show the actual shell to be supplied.
Size: 12 x 7.5 x 8.5 cm tall