I remember it like it was yesterday. I was about six years old and spending a few weeks in Sardinia, Italy together with my family. We visited a gift shop with a lot of shells and my father told me that I can choose one shell. We stood in front of three baskets filled with sanded mother of pearl snail shells, giant abalones and nautilus shells. I was tempted to choose one of these big abalones, but at least I had the nautilus shell in my hands. That’s how I got my tiger nautilus and it is still in a good condition. Please read more about my nautilus shells. Pictures and more information under the cut.
Nautili belong to the mollusc and like cuttlefish they are cephalopods. They look like squids in snail shells. If there’s any danger, they move back into the shell and lock it with its “cap”. Nautili move very slowly, eat crabs or little fishes and you can find them in depths of 130 to 300 meters under the sea, but always on the hillside of a reef.
|Picture from Wikipedia. You can watch Nautili in the aquarium of Berlin, Germany.|
The other snailhouse I have was sanded and polished, so you can see the mother of pearl. I inherited it from my beloved grandmother. It isn’t as big like my first nautilus shell, but still bigger than the broken one.
|In the German language we call these shells “pearl boats”.|
|Sorry, bad photo! -.-"|
|"Big momma". Even when empty it still has quite a weight. It’s about 20cm in diameter.|