Vertical distribution and migration patterns of Nautilus pompilius

Dunstan, Andrew J., Ward, Peter D. and Marshall, N. Justin (2011) Vertical distribution and migration patterns of Nautilus pompilius. PLoS One, 6 2: e16311.1-e16311.10. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016311

Author Dunstan, Andrew J.
Ward, Peter D.
Marshall, N. Justin
Title Vertical distribution and migration patterns of Nautilus pompilius
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2011-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0016311
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 6
Issue 2
Start page e16311.1
End page e16311.10
Total pages 10
Place of publication San Francisco CA , United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Vertical depth migrations into shallower waters at night by the chambered cephalopod Nautilus were first hypothesized early in the early 20th Century. Subsequent studies have supported the hypothesis that Nautilus spend daytime hours at depth and only ascend to around 200 m at night. Here we challenge this idea of a universal Nautilus behavior. Ultrasonic telemetry techniques were employed to track eleven specimens of Nautilus pompilius for variable times ranging from one to 78 days at Osprey Reef, Coral Sea, Australia. To supplement these observations, six remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives were conducted at the same location to provide 29 hours of observations from 100 to 800 meter depths which sighted an additional 48 individuals, including five juveniles, all deeper than 489 m. The resulting data suggest virtually continuous, nightly movement between depths of 130 to 700 m, with daytime behavior split between either virtual stasis in the relatively shallow 160–225 m depths or active foraging in depths between 489 to 700 m. The findings also extend the known habitable depth range of Nautilus to 700 m, demonstrate juvenile distribution within the same habitat as adults and document daytime feeding behavior. These data support a hypothesis that, contrary to previously observed diurnal patterns of shallower at night than day, more complex vertical movement patterns may exist in at least this, and perhaps all other Nautilus populations. These are most likely dictated by optimal feeding substrate, avoidance of daytime visual predators, requirements for resting periods at 200 m to regain neutral buoyancy, upper temperature limits of around 25°C and implosion depths of 800 m. The slope, terrain and biological community of the various geographically separated Nautilus populations may provide different permutations and combinations of the above factors resulting in preferred vertical movement strategies most suited for each population.
Keyword Living Nautilus
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article number e16311

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2012 Collection
School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 19 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 20 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 13 Mar 2011, 00:05:07 EST