Nautilus Growth and Longevity: Evidence from Marked and Recaptured Animals

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Science  01 Jun 1984:
Vol. 224, Issue 4652, pp. 990-992
DOI: 10.1126/science.224.4652.990


Study of Nautilus belauensis i its natural habitat in Palau, West Caroline Islands, shows that growth is slow (0.1 millimeter of shell per day on the average) and decreases as maturity is approached and that individuals may live at least 4 years beyond maturity. Age estimates for seven animals marked and recaptured between 45 and 355 days after release range from 14.5 to 17.2 years. These data indicate that the life-span of Nautilus may exceed 20 years and that its life strategy is very different from that of other living cephalopods.