Clear Spiky Gelatinous Shells of Corolla Sea Butterflies and Seaweed

Clear Spiky Gelatinous Shells of Corolla Sea Butterflies and Seaweed

Clear Spiky Gelatinous Shells of Corolla Sea Butterfly and Seaweed, San Mateo Coast South of San Francisco/North of Monterey, California. The sea butterfly is a pelagic sea snail that flaps in the open ocean with its butterfly wing-shaped foot: https://montereybayaquarium.tumblr.com/post/154440740478/have-you-seen-these-on-the-beach-these-spiky
During identification it is sometimes mistaken for salp or pelagic tunicates (related to sea squirts). A salp feeds by filtering water through its barrel-shaped body as it swims. Salp sometimes swarm Monterey Bay in Fall, and wash onto local beaches. One quarter of the biomass of Monterey Bay consists of jellies and similar animals. A great web site describing these delicate creatures is at:
http://jellieszone.com
A really amazing salp is described here: http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/mm/tunicates/pyrostremma_spinosum.htm
The pyrosoma colony in the story is over 6 feet long and glows. The largest on record (caught in New Zealand) was 30 feet long and 6 feet wide – a diver could swim inside it! Pyrosoma are bioluminescent and ripple light to scare away predators. Pyrosome blooms were reported in summer 2017: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/06/pyrosome-fire-body-bloom-eastern-pacific-warm-water/

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