Nautilus pp 215-221 | Cite as

The Central Nervous System

  • J. Z. Young
Part of the Topics in Geobiology book series (TGBI, volume 6)


The nervous system of Nautilus contains a much larger number of neurons than is found in any noncephalopod mollusk. Many of the neurons lie in peripheral ganglia, especially those of the tentacles and the brachial nerve cords in the arms. On the other hand, there is a great concentration of neurons to form a “brain,” which is composed of cords around the esophagus. The nervous organization thus consists of peripheral reflexes for detailed actions subordinated to a brain devoted to control of the whole animal. Cephalopods have probably used this system since the Cambrian Period (≈ 500 Ma), and it was probably in large part responsible for their early success as dominant carnivores of the seas.


Nervous System Central Nervous System Great Concentration Nerve Cord Early Success 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Z. Young
    • 1
  1. 1.The Department of Experimental PsychologyOxfordEngland

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