|Float like a Butterfly|
Posted by Merry on December 03, 2012 at 10:09:18:|
Because sea butterflies belong to a family of animals that are descendents of gastropods, portions of the molluscan foot have been modified to form swimming wings. Corolla is generally a passive drifter. However, at any disturbance, it vigorously flaps its oval wingplate, propelling itself past surprised divers with remarkable speed. Nearly transparent with a swimming rate of eighteen inches per second, a fleeting glimpse is often all one gets.
Perhaps tubercles serve to increase surface area, which would further reduce the sinking rate.
A fascinating and almost unimaginable feature of the sea butterfly is the unique way in which it captures food. It starts with a row of mucous glands embedded in the wing margin.
Corolla spectabilis actually swims backwards, pushing its pseudoconch forward, with the mouth and feeding web bringing up the rear. The proboscis always stays in contact with the web. If disturbed, the animal may shed the web and swim away. Unfortunately, a strobe flash sometimes qualifies as a disturbance!
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