A fish with a see-through head


Nature never ceases to amaze me.

Why Evolution Is True

Here’s one weird fish: the Pacific barreleye (Macropinna microstoma), a deep-sea fish (600-800m) recently filmed by National Geographic in its natural habitat.  It’s been described for a while, but its transparent head shattered when it was dragged up to the surface, so biologists didn’t really know whether it could move its eyes when alive.  The answer is yes.

Note that the “eyelike” structures at the front of the head aren’t eyes, but olfactory organs. The eyes are those big green jobs inside the head.

Why is the head transparent? Well, the eyes are inside the head, presumably for protection, and so its head has to be transparent. Of course not all deep-sea fish use that design, but not all deep-sea fish steal food from stinging siphonophores—one speculation of how this thing makes a living. It just wouldn’t do to have your eyes stung.

The link in the…

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