Argonaut buoyancy

19 May, 2010

Julian Finn diving with argonaut
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.


Comments (4)

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Gordon Bennett 10 December, 2010 12:06
I just read about the Argonaut in Australian Science magazine which prompted me to look further. From the pictures in the magazine I couldn't get a clear understanding of what the Argonaut actually was. The video here is absolutely brilliant. Do you have any other video showing how they are attached to the shell and how they feed? Excellent work.
James Douglas 7 July, 2011 04:37
Totally brilliant.
George Smith 21 December, 2011 06:27
Very good, everything you need to know wrapped up in 5 minutes.
Ben 18 January, 2012 21:53
Fantastic footage and explanations of this fascinating creature.
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