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Transparent-Headed Barreleye Fish: One of 10 Amazing Transparent Animals

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Transparent-Headed Barreleye Fish

(images via: WebEcoist)

The Pacific Barreleye (Macropinna microstoma) was first described in 1939 but specimens of this unusual deep sea fish suffered damage when raised to the surface through low-pressure shallow surface waters. In 2009, researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) using remote-operated cameras were able to observe barreleyes in their element – 2,000 to 2,600 feet (600 to 800 meters) below sea level off the coast of central California. What they saw astonished them: the barreleye’s eyes rotate within a transparent, fluid-filled head shield.

(image via: GConnect)

Viewed head on, the barreleye’s face looks normal but what seem to be eyes are actually “nares” – the piscine equivalent of nostrils. The eyes are the vivid green structures located within the fish’s head, where they can be directed to look upwards while the fish remains horizontal.

Here is a video of the barreleye as first spied by MBARI’s seagoing ROV cameras:

\”Macropinna microstoma: A deep-sea fish with a transparent head and tubular eyes\”, via MBARIvideo


Written by wesley83

May 26, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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