Skerry shot this image of a tiny, shelled “sea angel” under an ice cap in Hokaiso, Japan. The frozen top layer can be 25 feet thick at times.
“The creatures have a translucent body and are the size of a Tic Tac candy,” he says, “but they fly on these little wings under the ice.”
Changes in ocean chemistry destroyed the shelled pteropods that this “naked sea butterfly” eats, in turn affecting predators like fish and squid that depend on the sea butterfly for food. Ocean acidification is a serious threat for these little guys.
Vote for this photo to appear in the Natural History Museum’s Portraits of Planet Ocean exhibit, set to open in February 2013!