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As a people, the Nautolans are known for their incredible sense of smell, which comes from the highly receptive olfactory receptors located throughout their head-tails. This incredibly sophisticated olfactory sense allows a Nautolan to detect the presence of pheromones and changes in a being's body chemistry. This sense of smell is exceptional when used underwater, but tends to fade when the Nautolan lives on the land. Because of this, and the fact that their native Nautolan language can only be fully pronounced underwater, Nautolans prefer to live in the water. Because their sense of smell is so powerful, many Nautolans tend to feel the same emotions as those beings around them. However, in almost any situation, a Nautolan can be counted on to act with joy and unrestrained happiness, as evidenced by Nautolan warriors smiling in the midst of combat. In addition to verbal and pheromonal communication, the subtle swirls and patterns found in a Nautolan's unblinking eyes often display their emotions.
The music of the Nautolan race is difficult to comprehend for most other races, as the pauses between notes are more important than the notes themselves. The musical notes are often sustained in irregular units.
Immature Nautolans are born as tadpoles that hatch from a clutch of eggs, but grow and mature quite quickly. Within two years of birth, most Nautolans are similar in size to most humans. Mating is considered more of an evolutionary necessity than an emotional attachment, although most Nautolans mate for life.
Although the Nautolan race is sometimes referred to as Nautiloids, this is actually an incorrect use of their genus name.