Fish with transparent head filmed (Video)

February 24, 2009

Scientists in California have filmed a Barreleye fish, which has a transparent head, helping researchers understand how the fish uses its extraordinary eyes to see in the gloomy ocean depths.

Marine biologists knew The Barreleye Fish, which was discovered in 1939, had tubular eyes that were very good at collecting light.  Video and more below…

Barreleyes typically live near the depth where sunlight from the surface fades to complete blackness. They use their ultra-sensitive tubular eyes to search for the faint silhouettes of prey overhead.

And new observations show that the unusual eyes are not fixed in place, but can rotate within a transparent shield that covers the fish’s head.

This allows the Barreleye to peer up at potential prey or focus forward to see what it is eating.

In addition to their amazing “headgear,” Barreleyes have an interesting adaptations to deep-sea life as their large, flat fins allow them to remain nearly motionless in the water.

Bruce Robison and Kim Reisenbichler of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute used videos from the institute’s remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to study Barreleyes off Central California, At depths of 2,000 to 2,600 feet, (600 to 800 meters).

Using their special adaptations cameras typically caught the fish hanging motionless in the water, its eyes glowing a vivid green in the bright lights.



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