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Video of Paper Nautilus riding a Jellyfish

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The Paper Nautilus, known as the Argonaut Hians are actually a pelagic octopus.

Nauty on a jelly
Nauty on a jelly

They spend their entire lifecycle in the open ocean and never settle to the sand. The female builds a shell to brood her eggs which is often called an egg case. The male Argonaut Hians are much smaller than the female in one of natures most extreme examples of sexual dimorphism. The female can reach the size of a baseball while the male never exceeds the size of a large garden pea. They spend most of their time in deeper darker water’s where food or feeding opportunities can be scarce but at night all of that changes.

As the sun sets, planktons begin a vertical path of migration to disperse and feed in the shallow. Subjects like the Argonaut Hians are a great example of some of the predatory animals that follow this migration, much like a pride of lions might follow a herd of gazelles.

Finding either one of them riding a jellyfish or other flotsam isn’t an uncommon behaviour and makes for the ultimate in photo/video ops.

Despite their appearance, the female paper nautilus is a fast-moving subject. When they are moving at full speed, it is impossible to keep pace.

  • Nikon D850+60mm | ƒ,20 @ 1/200
  • Video- Nikon D850 + 60mm lens & KWACL-wide angle conversion lens
  • 1080p @ 120p, Lighting-Kraken 3500s torch

Written By Mike Batrick

Photo Credit: Mike Batrick

Want to Read more about Photography?

Underwater Photography by Simon Lorenz

Adrian Stacey
Adrian Stacey
Scuba Diver ANZ Editor, Adrian Stacey, first learned to dive on the Great Barrier Reef over 24 years ago. Since then he has worked as a dive instructor and underwater photographer in various locations around the world including, Egypt, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico and Saba. He has now settled in Australia, back to where his love of diving first began.
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