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Nautilus: More than just a pretty shell
mediaposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by WT Sinclair
One of the oldest species inhabiting the worlds oceans, Nautilus are the only remaining cephalopods with an external shell. Living at depths in excess of 600m, these once fearsome predators have become heavily targeted by the shell trade across their distribution. Very little is known about the population structure and genetics of these animals. Using molecular techniques, levels of inter and intra-population genetic diversity in isolated populations of Nautilus in the Coral Sea and in the northern section of the Great Barrier Reef have been examined and showed differentiation of the Northern populations and the Southern populations. Population relationships are presented and discussed, along with the significance of this separation and the potential evolutionary divergence of these two population groups.