EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nautilus siphuncle crystals. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of crystals from the siphuncle structure in a nautilus shell. Here, the layered region (top) is the shell, while the needle-like area is associated with a structure called the siphuncle. The interior shell layer in a nautilus consists of a composite material called nacre (also known as mother-of-pearl). This material is mostly a form of aragonite, a calcium carbonate mineral. Nacre has a very high tensile strength due to a combination of soft organic layers and hard inorganic platelets of aragonite. The nautilus is a marine mollusc related to the octopus and squid (all are examples of cephalopods). It has a spiral shell divided into many chambers, of which the animal inhabits only the outermost. The siphuncle connects the chambers. Magnification: x665 when printed at 10 centimetres across.
Model release not required. Property release not required.