The two main groups of pteropods

29 Sep 2020

Pteropods are split into two major groups: shelled sea butterflies (left) and sea angels (right) that lose their shell when they reach adulthood. These creatures have adapted from a life on the sea floor to a life in the open ocean, with their muscular foot transformed into two wing-like structures, which they use to “fly” up and down through the water. While sea butterflies graze using a mucus web to catch microscopic plankton, sea angels are carnivorous and prey exclusively on the sea butterflies.

Credit: 
Photos courtesy of Katja Peijnenburg and Erica Goetze

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