Dr Julian Finn examining a female argonaut (Argonauta argo) while SCUBA diving, Okidomari Harbour, Sea of Japan.
Image: Yasushi Okumura
Source: Japan Underwater Films
Dr Julian Finn has discovered that argonauts - also known as 'paper nautiluses' - have sophisticated control over their buoyancy in the water column. In doing so he has cleared up centuries of misunderstanding about the function of the female argonaut's shell.
In this video he explains what argonauts are, how they differ from true nautiluses, and some findings of his PhD project on these unusual octopuses.
Watch this video with a transcript.
Julian's research was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B today. The paper, 'The argonaut shell: gas-mediated buoyancy control in a pelagic octopus' was co-authored by Dr Mark Norman, Head of Sciences.