Sea Butterflies

  • A recent study has revealed that due to climate change and ocean acidification, population of sea butterflies is shrinking.
    • This can impact entire ocean food web.


  • Sea butterflies(Thecosomata), are a suborder of sea snails known as shelled pteropods.
  • Sea butterflies are
    • The holoplankton, or true plankton, consists of those plants and animals that normally spend most or all of their life cycle solely within the water column.
  • They are found in all oceans but are more diverse and abundant in colder waters.
  • Sea butterflies have bilateral symmetry and a coiled or uncoiled shell of various shapes and sizes.
  • Sea butterflies play a significant role in the global carbon cycle. They incorporate calcium carbonate into their shells through a process known as calcification.
    • Their shell is mostly transparent and very fragile and can be easily dissolved by ocean acidification.
  • Sea butterflies are herbivorous organisms that feed primarily on phytoplankton, microscopic plants found in the ocean.
  • Sea butterflies are an important food source for various marine organisms, including fish, seabirds, and whales.
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