I had actually intended to doodlewash a nautilus shell, but came across the actual creature inside it and was intrigued. So for our #NatureDoodlewash hike, we’ve plunged underwater to visit a living fossil. Nautiluses have been hanging around on this planet for over 500 million years without any changes to their appearance. They were actually here 265 million years before dinosaurs first appeared. They move around by jet-propulsion which is pretty cool, sucking up large amounts of water through a siphon and then positioning it in various directions to make themselves move around.

Even in my slap dash research, mating always seems to rise to the top. In the case of the nautilus, after see something about the male having a “couple” of tentacles that act as a sexual organ, I stopped reading. Well okay, there was another bit about delivering “sperm packages” but that really made me stop reading. Honestly, it’s amazing they can even have sex at all so bully for them, however it’s done. And the odds are interesting for courtship when you consider there are considerably more males found in nature – 75% are male and only 25% are female. Scientists are not really sure why this happens.

Oh, and they have horrible eyesight. They’re only able to detect light and dark, like someone waking up with a hangover. Lucky for them though, they were blessed with a great sense of smell and can then use that to ensure they don’t starve. I’m sure there’s much more interesting things to learn about these guys, but as is often the case I ran out of time to read about them. Also, it’s Friday, and time for another weekend! And I sincerely hope all of you have a great one!

Join me throughout the month of June on a virtual nature hike! Show everyone what you love most in nature with a watercolor sketch or painting and tag your images #NatureDoodlewash so we can all enjoy it with you! I’ll create a featured artist gallery of our global hike at the end of the month! 

World Watercolor Month is coming in July! Click here to learn more!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Quinacridone Gold, Azo Orange, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

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37 thoughts on “A Living Nautilus Shell

  1. Great doodlewash! I love the funky, dare I say zonkey-esque markings on the shell – they got my hopes up higher than usual on first glance, I admit 😉 Another education and intriguing pick; a peculiar creature, but surely a natural masterpiece to have stuck around so long. They’re doing something right, and if it ain’t broke…! Awesome!

  2. Ha! Gives new meaning to “see” shell – for those creatures who are blind in a shell! 😉 Another AMAZING doodlewash with interesting facts, Charlie! Happy weekend, friend! 💕😃🎨

  3. What a cute sea creature, and 100% yay from me, being fossil mad, you have hit tops choosing to paint the live version ( I had been meaning to paint a fossil on my nature trail for June, but I have been so busy, we have our hospice family fun day today, after lots of arranging, I hope to paint tonight, if I am not too tired)?

  4. Science Lesson: So let’s see, lots more boy nautiluses than girls but the boys can smell the girls a mile away cuz of their Sea Salt perfume, no one can see anything in the dark, the nautilus has sex somehow, deliverance of sperm, and, oh boy, it’s the weekend already! Naughty nautilus!

    Your Doodlewash is fan-n-n-ntastic.

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