Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fish With A Transparent Head

Today there's a new addition to the "real life is stranger than fiction" category. Check out the fish Macropinna microstoma. It has tubular eyes and a see-through head.

The common name for the fish is "barreleyes." Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute investigators recently figured out why this species has such an unusual head. Its eyes can actually rotate within its "skull," so the transparency allows the wary swimmer to keep a literal eye on happenings above it, as well as to the sides and directly in front.

Using video cameras, MBARI researchers Bruce Robison and Kim Reisenbichler revealed the fish's eye movements. When remotely operated vehicles approached the fish, its eyes glowed a vivid green shade in the bright lights of the ROVs. Usually the fish were just hanging out motionless under the deep waters offshore California's central coast.
Here is video of the fish in action (also available in HD, sweet):

I can't wait to see what these deep sea cameras will capture next.

via Born Animal and YouTube

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