Shelled Pteropods

Arizona,
United States
This fragile, unfamiliar creature represents the vast diversity of ocean life that future generations may never get the chance to see. Other animals like it will vanish from the earth before they and their essential contributions to the grand mechanisms of the ocean are even discovered.
Arkansas,
United States
The reason this image best represents "a portrait of a vanishing world" is the starkness between the sea butterfly and it's surroundings.
District Of Columbia,
United States
In a vanishing world, we are forced to be conscious of the details in the oceans ecosystem and remember that life begins from the smallest creatures. We must preserve the bottom in order to save the top.
United States
I once saw one of these creatures in the wild. I've never forgotten how gracefully it "flew" through the water.
Virginia,
United States
They are beautiful and important.
Virginia,
United States
The impacts of the evolutionary nature impacts the food supply of a broad range of marine life.
United States
I think this one represents the delicate nature of the oceans
Pennsylvania,
United States
Did not know about this animal before I saw this photo. Beautiful image. Emphasizes the fragility of biological life in the vast and harsh ocean environment.
Pennsylvania,
United States
It is easy for humans to forget about the small creatures that fill the oceans, but the depletion of these creatures will have an effect all the way up the food chain.
Philippines
It is not something you see every day
Maryland,
United States
It exemplifies how little most of us know about the marine world: what amazing creatures live there and how important they are in the food webs of our oceans.
Illinois,
United States
Shows the ocean is home to many little species that the larger fish population depends upon for the their survival. We have to protect them all, not just the big guys.
This delicate portrait really speaks to the heart and soul of the sea and the interconnectedness of its inhabitants, which is the true message that we as humans seem to have failed to grasp. We are as connected to the sea as this sea butterfly is connected to the threatened pteropod.
United States
Because the base, or bottom, of the food chain is essential to all marine life.
South Africa
Big or small every organism plays its part in the circle of life.
United States
When the smallest species go, the largest are sure to follow.
United States
This image exemplifies the fact that - in addition to the darling faces of Harp seals, Beluga whales and manatees - there are so many species that we can't see that are in jeopardy. Beyond the informational aspect of the image is the beauty that lies within its formal qualities: the color, contrast and composition of the image make it as beautiful as any contemporary painting or photograph you'd find.
California,
United States
I chose this image because it best conveys a message that through many harmful causes by human hands, we destroy many earth's treasures and hidden mysteries that we know very little about or have yet to discover. It is the lost of these treasured life forms that we loose our humanity in appreciating the beauty and the powerful reliance and interconnectedness that these life forms play in the lives of other macro life forms including ourselves.
California,
United States
It shows how chemistry collides with the sea and would be interesting to learn more about the chemical.
Massachusetts,
United States
The photograph itself appears that everything has disappeared. Vanishing is everthing around the pteropods, it's almost sad and unfortunate for the little guy.

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