A University of Washington research team has captured color photographs of what could be a previously undocumented species of chambered nautilus, a cephalopod mollusk often classified as a “living fossil,” in the waters off American Samoa in the South Pacific.

A samoan nautilus.

Peter Ward/UW

A Samoan nautilus about 2 miles offshore is seen in this photo from February 2013. At this location, the water was about 1,200 feet deep and the nautilus was at a depth of about 75 feet.

“This is certainly a new taxon, but we are not sure if it is a new species, subspecies or variety,” said UW paleontologist Peter Ward, who led the expedition to Samoa and Fiji.  Read the full UW News article here.