26 February 2009

Fish with transparent head

A Pacific Barreleye fish was discovered alive in the deep waters off California's central coast by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). It is the first specimen of its kind to be found with its soft transparent dome intact. 

The beady bits on the front of the Pacific barreleye fish aren't eyes but smell organs. The eyes are beneath the green domes, which may filter light. In this picture the eyes are pointing upward--to see prey above in the darkness of the barreleye's deep-sea home.  By watching live fish from a remotely operated vehicle and by bringing a barreleye to an aquarium for a study, the scientists discovered that the eyes can pivot, like a birdwatcher pointing a pair of binoculars.  The barreleye lives more than 2,000 feet (600 meters) beneath the ocean's surface, where there is little light.


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No way this fish looks so cute, I wonder if the specimen is just a photoshoped image.

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