It's been 30 years since anyone has seen this species of nautilus, and it was spotted by the man who first discovered it decades ago.
The Allonautilus scrobiculatus has been discovered after 30 years hiding deep in the oceans of the South Pacific, but a biologist has found it off the coast of Papau New Guinea.
It’s been called the rarest creature on the planet, and it is considered a “living fossil” — a creature that hasn’t changed much since it first appeared 500 million years ago — and it was first discovered three decades ago by biologist Peter Ward of the University of Washington and his colleague, Bruce Saunders from Bryn Mawr College. Now, Ward has found it again for the first time since those amazing discoveries in the mid-1980s, according to a Sputnik report.
Ward found the creature off the coast of Big Ndrova Island in Papau New Guinea after it had gone missing for 30 years since it was discovered in 1984 and seen again for the last time in 1986.
Ward and a team of biologist made the discovery on an expedition off the coast of Papau New Guinea by dropping a baited line with fishand chicken hundreds of meters under the water where it is cold enough for a nautilus to survive. Nautiluses like to stay that deep until the evening when the surface of the water has cooled down and they can come up to feed. To keep them comfortable, Ward and his team pulled up the nautiluses in chilled water, took some samples, and then released them back into the ocean.
Allonautilus was just one of the many amazing creatures to show up and start nibbling on the bait, including other nautiluses. Nautiluses are threatened creatures because they are often mined for their unique chambered shells, leading to conservationists to call for better protections for the animal, which is related to other mollusks like octopuses and squid.