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Temporal range: OligocenePliocene
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda
Order: Octopoda
Family: Argonautidae
Genus: Obinautilus
Kobayashi, 1954[1]
  • Obinautilus awaensis
    (Tomida, 1983)[2]
  • Obinautilus pulcher
    Kobayashi, 1954[1]

Obinautilus is an extinct genus of shelled cephalopod that has been variously identified as an argonautid octopod[3][4][5][6][7][8] or a nautilid.[1][9][10][11][12] It is known from the Late Oligocene to Pliocene of Japan.[4] The shell is discoidal and very involute, with rapidly expanding and compressed whorls, fine radial ribs, a rounded venter with a shallow furrow, and almost closed umbilicus.

Based on the examination of O. pulcher fossils from the Oligocene, the TremoctopusArgonauta divergence has been estimated to have occurred at least 29 million years ago.[5]


Two species are recognised in the genus.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Kobayashi, T. (1954). A new Palaeogene paracenoceratoid from southern Kyushu in Japan. Japanese Journal of Geology and Geography 24: 181–184.
  2. ^ a b Tomida, S. (1983). Two new fossil Argonauta and firstly discovered Aturia coxi Miller from the late Tertiary of Boso Peninsula, Japan. Muzunami-shi Fossil Museum Bulletin 10: 107–116.
  3. ^ Ozawa, T. & S. Tomida (1996). Occurrence of Aturia coxi (Cephalopoda; Nautilida) from the uppermost Miocene of Japan and its implication for late Miocene marine climate in the northwestern Pacific. Journal of Paleontology 70(5): 795–798. JSTOR 1306481
  4. ^ a b c d Saul, L.R. & C.J. Stadum (2005). Fossil argonauts (Mollusca: Cephalopoda: Octopodida) from Late Miocene siltstones of the Los Angeles Basin, California. Journal of Paleontology 79(3): 520–531. doi:10.1666/0022-3360(2005)079<0520:FAMCOF>2.0.CO;2
  5. ^ a b c Strugnell, J., J. Jackson, A.J. Drummond & A. Cooper (2006). Divergence time estimates for major cephalopod groups: evidence from multiple genes. Cladistics 22(1): 89–96. doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.2006.00086.x
  6. ^ a b c Martill, D.M. & M.J. Barker (2006). A paper nautilus (Octopoda, Argonauta) from the Miocene Pakhna Formation of Cyprus. Palaeontology 49(5): 1035–1041. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2006.00578.x
  7. ^ Strugnell, J.M., A.D. Rogers, P.A. Prodöhl, M.A. Collins & A.L. Allcock (2008). The thermohaline expressway: the Southern Ocean as a centre of origin for deep-sea octopuses. Cladistics 24(6): 853–860. doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.2008.00234.x
  8. ^ Strugnell, J. & A.L. Allcock (2010). Co-estimation of phylogeny and divergence times of Argonautoidea using relaxed phylogenetics. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 54(3): 701–708. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2009.11.017
  9. ^ Ward, P. (1980). Comparative shell shape distributions in Jurassic–Cretaceous ammonites and Jurassic–Tertiary nautilids. Paleobiology 6(1): 32–43. JSTOR 2400233
  10. ^ Teichert, C. & T. Matsumoto (2010). The Ancestry of the Genus Nautilus. In: W.B. Saunders & N.H. Landman (eds.) Nautilus: The Biology and Paleobiology of a Living Fossil. Springer. pp. 25–32. doi:10.1007/978-90-481-3299-7_2
  11. ^ a b UMUT CM 08493: Obinautilus pulchra Kobayashi, 1954. The University Museum, The University of Tokyo.
  12. ^ Eyden, P. (2010). Fossil Octopuses. TONMO.

Further reading[edit]

  • Noda, H., K. Ogasawara & R. Nomura (1986). Systematic and paleobiogeographic studies on the Japanese Miocene argonautid “Nautilusizumoensis. University of Tsukuba, Institute of Geoscience, Science Reports, Section B, Geological Sciences 7: 15–42.
  • ‹See Tfd›(in Japanese) Yanagisawa, Y. (1990). "Age of fossil Argonautidae (Cephalopoda) from Hokuriku Province (central Honshu, Japan) based on diatom biostratigraphy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-27. Bulletin of the Geological Survey of Japan 41(3): 115–127.