Friday, July 12, 2013

Paper Nautilus "Argonauts"

Also known as "Argonauts", this group of octopuses are named for the thin, papery shells secreted by the females and carried with them as mobile nest for their eggs and young. Males, who live only to reproduce, are as little as a twentieth the female's size, and die immediately after breaking off one long, sperm-filled tentacle inside the female's mantle.

Female argonauts are sometimes seen attached to the bells of larger jellyfish, dragging the venomous creatures around with them as defense against predators. It suggest that they suck food particle from the jellyfish gastric contents, like a parasite, using the jellyfish as both food and weapon.

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