THEY ARE HERE!
This is an exciting time here at Central Campus! We are the proud care takers of a unique and amazing creature. The Nautilis.
Our Marine Biology instructor Greg Barord was paramount in obtaining these and this is the information he provided in regards to what they are:
Nautiluses are the last remaining species of a lineage that has been around for nearly 500 million years! Today, nautiluses live in the South Pacific to depths of 700m (~2100 ft) and are fished for their ornamental shell that is sold and traded worldwide. I am working with an international team of researchers working to save the nautilus from extinction as a result of unregulated fisheries.
But why are they here in Des Moines at Central Campus? This is how Mr. Barord explained it:
Connecting a 500 million year old living fossil to high school students provides a novel learning experience for the students that few people are able to experience. There are only a handful of university level nautilus research labs in the world and as far as I know, this will be the only high school offering students the opportunity to work with an animal that has been on this planet longer than dinosaurs, mammals, and sharks. Nautiluses at Central Campus will give the students an opportunity to participate in the active research of nautiluses that will support future conservation efforts and allow the students to be a part of the solution. These unique animals will also be a spring board to discuss other key issues of marine biology including evolution, conservation, sustainability, behavior, and ecology.