Sea Butterfly Facts
- Sea Butterfly serves as the common name of an order of small pelagic sea snail which swims freely in the ocean. It also comprises a very specific group of gastropod mollusks.
- The different species have evolved several adaptations unique to them. In many species in this rather remarkable order, the gills and shell disappeared completely.
- The foot has also evolved, in this case, into a pair of lobes resembling wings. These individuals use to propel themselves slowly through the water.
- This order includes some of the most abundant species of gastropods.
Sea Butterfly Physical Description
Given the great number of different species within the Sea Butterfly order, physical appearances vary. However, many similarities exist.
All known forms of this creature remain rather small. An average body size only equals roughly 0.4 in (1 cm). However, individuals possess a mucous web that extends about 2 in (5 cm) out from the body.
Among those species still possessing a shell, the animal appears almost completely transparent. Despite the transparency, the shells consist primarily of calcium carbonate.
The shells vary greatly in shape between species, and even individuals.
Sea Butterfly Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Scientists still know very little about the fascinating Sea Butterfly. Most of what experts know concerns the feeding habits of the animal.
The various forms of this rather remarkable creature inhabit most oceans, ranging from the tropics to the poles. However, the greatest concentration appears in warmer climates.
Most individuals typically live at depths of no more than 82 ft (25 m) and remain at greater depth during the day. At night, a migration to the surface usually occurs.
These animals typically feed as passive feeders, living almost exclusively on plankton. On occasion, however, a few individuals may become active feeders.
The Sea Butterfly generally travels singly, yet will occasionally move in groupings as well.