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Nautilus pearl

smetzler

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Jan 29, 2007
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1,702
I voted, for you, of course! Can we vote once a day? And when is the contest over?
Thanks as well! It's over the 20th of November, results December 19. I should clarify that the popular voting will result in 'honorable mention' only, winners to be decided by the scientific panel of the organizing committee. But there is that iPad?

I don't think the system allows two votes for the same image, otherwise I'm not aware of any limitation. Need to try and find out.
 

lisa c

Perpetual Pearl Student
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Jun 28, 2009
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3,610
Hi, yes I voted after I found out what was wanted, voted for you, and recieved a confirmation email.
 

Lagoon Island Pearls

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Dec 8, 2009
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I'm bumping this thread, because search did not reveal the name Thomas Hochstrasser.

His website at http://www.naturalpearl.ch/7901.html has examples of seven pearls from Nautilus repertus, among other naturals.

The youtube video is quite nice, displaying all of these lovelies with ID's, rotation, lighting and dissolved transitions.

Steve, or any other P-Gers... are you familiar with this gentleman?
 

smetzler

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Dave,

Hochstrasser is among the handful of top natural pearl traders in the world today, haven't met him but it's a small world and know quite a few of his colleagues/sources. He has beautiful pearls.

However, these pearls were discussed early on in this thread. The website is misleading, intentionally or not, in that Gemlab/SSEF certification is for 'Natural pearl' and not 'Nautilus pearl', which is added by Hochstrasser on his site. Also, Repertus is not a recognized species, rather a largish variant of Pompilius.

I love a couple of the pearls (Nautilus or not) but mostly these appear to be the typical case of ordinary or somewhat flamed Tridacna pearls claimed as Nautilus for the simple reason that Tridacna is CITES listed and Nautilus (as yet) is not.

But most importantly, this offer continues the pattern established from the very first post of this thread for claimed Nautilus pearls to be exclusively non-nacreous in composition, despite the 'Pearly' Nautilus's' predominantly nacreous shell.
 

Lagoon Island Pearls

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Dec 8, 2009
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Dave,

Hochstrasser is among the handful of top natural pearl traders in the world today, haven't met him but it's a small world and know quite a few of his colleagues/sources. He has beautiful pearls.

However, these pearls were discussed early on in this thread. The website is misleading, intentionally or not, in that Gemlab/SSEF certification is for 'Natural pearl' and not 'Nautilus pearl', which is added by Hochstrasser on his site. Also, Repertus is not a recognized species, rather a largish variant of Pompilius.

I love a couple of the pearls (Nautilus or not) but mostly these appear to be the typical case of ordinary or somewhat flamed Tridacna pearls claimed as Nautilus for the simple reason that Tridacna is CITES listed and Nautilus (as yet) is not.

But most importantly, this offer continues the pattern established from the very first post of this thread for claimed Nautilus pearls to be exclusively non-nacreous in composition, despite the 'Pearly' Nautilus's' predominantly nacreous shell.

Thanks for putting that into perspective Steve, as I came late to the party. I agree, those do not have the pronounced planospiral.

That said, it's otherwise a magnificent collection of naturals and nicely presented.
 

Lagoon Island Pearls

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Dec 8, 2009
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'Tropical Sunset' necklace. 18.5 inch, multicoloured off-rounds 8-9mm with gold daisy spacers. PasteIn the recent spirit of necroposting, I thought I'd post this image of my octopus pearl. I can hardly believe I've had this pearl for over twenty-five years and have only until now had a closer look at it. Needless to say, I was quite suprised and delighted to see it has a swirl. Nowhere near as defined as Steve's pearls, but a swirl of clouds nonetheless.

It's becoming rapidly apparent, this pearl needs to go to the lab in Spain.
 

Lagoon Island Pearls

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Adeline Leigh said:
Exotic beyond belief - octopus pearl?!?


Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda
Order: Octopoda
Family: Octopodidae
Genus: Enteroctopus
Species: Enteroctopus Dofleini

Yup... an octopus is a clam.
 

Lagoon Island Pearls

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For those who joined P-G subsequent to this thread, especially those with scientific curiousity, I highly recommend taking a few hours to read it.

Steve's contribution is second to none.
 

smetzler

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Jan 29, 2007
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Dave,

Much appreciated! For lighting perspective and to further encourage thread review, HERE is your original post of the octopus pearl.

From that post onwards, this thread might aptly have been retitled 'Cephalopod Pearls.' The enigma of the microstructural non-conformity of purported Nautilus pearls to the nacreous Nautilus shell is encapsulated in your sphere, which is to this day the ONLY such object from a cephalopod with such indisputable provenance.

Latent in Cephalopoda genetics would be direct lineage to the earliest shelled mollusks, predating Bivalvia and Gastropoda, and predating the evolution of nacre as a shell material. As we have learned, Nautilus is the only modern cephalopod to retain its ancestral shell. But said shell would seem superfluous to the production of the pearls presented in this thread, assuming they are cephalopod.

Tom Stern has a pearl certified by GIA as Argonauta, like Octopoda a shell-less cephalopod (although its spectacular calcite egg case/sail is famously regarded as a 'shell'). That pearl was certified on the sworn statement that is was 'found in its shell'?an impossible premise on its face. But that does not eliminate the possibility it is a cephalopod pearl. It, like Dave's octopus pearl, should most definitely join the purported Nautilus pearls that continue to undergo a battery of tests in Europe. Cross-referencing may be the most effective means of resolving this matter.
 

Lagoon Island Pearls

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Also appreciated, Steve. I'm delighted to have contributed.

It was your technique of candling that brought on this latest round of enthusiam.

I've got to thank Ana (Valeria101) too, immensely. P-G doesn't hear much from her these days, but her efforts to see this though haven't waned.
 

smetzler

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Jan 29, 2007
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Ashley

Thanks for the post, this is the right place for a link to Ana's (Valeria101) very original Pala article. If nothing else, it serves as a peak into the complexity of the research issues presented by the non-nacreous pearls in this thread.
 

CortezPearls

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In the recent spirit of necroposting, I thought I'd post this image of my octopus pearl. I can hardly believe I've had this pearl for over twenty-five years and have only until now had a closer look at it. Needless to say, I was quite suprised and delighted to see it has a swirl. Nowhere near as defined as Steve's pearls, but a swirl of clouds nonetheless.

Hey Dave! Tell us how you got the pearl please! There has got to be a story for this one :)
 

Lagoon Island Pearls

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Dec 8, 2009
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]
Hey Dave! Tell us how you got the pearl please! There has got to be a story for this one :)

I came late to this intriguing thread but couldn't help myself when the question of pearls in other cephalopods came up. I touched on the harvest here.

While I was a geoduck diver, a scientific expedition was taking place near Tofino. A group from Simon Fraser University was studying the growth rates in O. dofleni, aka Giant Pacific Octopus. I was often contracted to capture, then return animals to their dens. At the time, we used a dillute solution of water and bleach in a soap bottle to cause the specimens to leave the den for bagging. Interestingly enough, most of these would simply volunteer for recapture, rather than deal with the effects of the bleach. After a few months, we became quite familiar with each den and every animal's respective behavior. We would make every effort to return each correctly. Once, I got it wrong, by stuffing a tagged animal into a cave, only to have a giant wolf eel make chase. The octopus immediately found his own den and evaded the eel. Scared the bejezzus outta me :eek:

During the study, we learned some amazing things about growth and age. These animals retain more than 25% of their food resources in body weight and have an uncanny ability to retain information about their surroundings (which is a whole other story). Clearly octopus hunt from strategy, not instinct. Owing to the fact they grow fast, their life cycle is short. Apparently giant Humbolt squids only live 500 days.

Once the study was completed and the harvest restrictions were lifted, I returned to the site, knowing I could find an octopus in one of the dens. I was in the water scarcely a few minutes when I found a suitable candidate. Almost immediately I realized this specimen had been in a fight, but didn't appreciate the degree of his injuries until I got him home. Right four was partially amutated while right three was severed at the level of the mantle. There was a oblique healed scar, approx 10 cm. posterior on the mantle itself.

When I prepared octopus (or crabs for that matter), rather than simply removing legs, I always section them with a portion of the body meat as well. Once sectioned, take each piece skin, wash and cut for cooking. In this case, while I made my initial cut, felt a nodule within the scar tissue, less than two inches from the beak. After a bit of crude surgery with a chef's knife, extracted the pearl. I had collected other pearls from mussels and oysters by this time and was actively working on developing pearl culture techniques, but dismissed the octopearl as non nacreous and of little value. I was more intrigued by the coincidence of the amputations. As you may already know, male octopuses rely on the tip of right three (hectocotylis) to copulate with the female. Losing that appendage caused the animal to become sexually over-mature and in all likelyhood extended it's life span by a few years... enough time for a pearl to form.

It was asked by Ana and others, how does an animal with no shell develop a pearl? My speculation would be, the solution is in the donor not the host. The main food source of O. dofleni are crabs and clams. Namely Red Rock Crabs (Cancer magister) and Butter Clams (Soxodomus gigantea). This pearl has an extracrystalline structure similar to the prismatic layers of Saxodomus, but arranged in a spiral, as opposed to terraced.

A possible scenario would be this. Octopus are voracious foragers, even when stressed. This animal likely captured a clam and took it to the den. Once the shell is broken or otherwise pried open, they use their beak to rip tiny pieces of flesh for ingestion. A tiny piece of living epithelial tissue, perhaps connected to a piece of shell at the level of the periostracum, drifted away slightly only to become lodged deep within the injury, where enough of a vascular flow was present and pearl sac formed. This allowed the cells of the donor to divide, multiply and form a complete pearl sac.

It's a lot of guess work, but it's plausible and seems closer to the mark, than the "throw back" theories of when octopuses evolved out of their shells.

The ultimate coup in my work would be the discovery of pearls in nudibranchs.

Thanks Douglas, for revisiting this amazing thread.
 
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