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The Paper Nautilus

About the The Paper Nautilus Lesson

Students will learn what a paper nautilus is, discover its habitat and learn what its needs are.

• Students will read about and understand what a paper nautilus is.

• Students will learn vocabulary about the paper nautilus and its surroundings.

Suggested Grades
4th Grade
5th Grade
6th Grade

The name Paper Nautilus comes from the appearance of the fragile, thin, ribbed shell. It is a two-sided shell up to eight inches long. It resembles the shell of the Chambered Nautilus in that it is curved with a distinct opening at the end. But is it much thinner and stark white in color. The female secretes the substance that makes it before laying her eggs. When protecting the eggs, the female uses flap-like sails, which spread, from the first tentacle pair over the shell. The flap-like sails can also be used to catch food. After the shell is no longer needed, it falls to the bottom of the ocean or is sometimes found on beaches and collected by shell collectors. The shell is considered a prize find because not only it is very beautiful, but also rare to find. It is very rare for a person to find a shell on the beach with a female still inside. Because of its deep-water habitat the animal is rarely seen on the surface in the pelagic zone. When observed, the female nautilus is seen with her head and tentacles reaching out of the opening of its shell.




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