Geographic Distribution of Nautilus Shells
The distribution of living Nautilus has been a source of interest since earliest times. Their occurrence as rare postmortem drift specimens on African and Asian shores may have led to their reaching ancient civilizations by traders, but whether Nautilus was known to Aristotle has been questioned by Landman (1982b) and others (see Chapter 1). The record of illustrations of Nautilus on Minoan vases (Luce, 1969) is erroneous; the illustrations are of Argonauta. In recent years, records of living Nautilus have been assembled and much commented on (Stenzel, 1957; Toriyama et al., 1965; Saunders, 1981b). Paleontologists have been particularly interested in the postmortem distribution, mainly as a guide to how the distribution of chambered cephalopods in the past may have been extended after death, and there have been attempts to assemble these data (House, 1973; Reyment, 1973). This chapter presents a general review and a synthesis of available distribution data.
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