Isotopic Evidence on the Early Life History of Nautilus pompilius (Linné)

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Science  12 Aug 1966:
Vol. 153, Issue 3737, pp. 734-736
DOI: 10.1126/science.153.3737.734


The ratios of oxygen-18 to oxygen-16 and of carbon-13 to carbon-12 in the early shell and septa of two Nautilus specimens are interpreted for the early ontogeny of the animals. Changes in the carbon isotope content are tentatively correlated with the end of the embryonic period and with environmental changes. Variations in the oxygen isotope content are in part ascribed to migrations from warm to cooler water after a certain stage of development. The size of the body chamber of the young animals can be determined by comparison of the isotope contents in outer shell and septa.