Strange fish has a see-through head

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ California Scuba Diving BBS ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by . on February 23, 2009 at 23:09:24:

Ultra-sensitive tubular eyes search for the silhouettes of prey overhead

Macropinna microstoma
The barreleye (Macropinna microstoma) has extremely light-sensitive eyes that can rotate within a transparent, fluid-filled shield on its head. The fish's tubular eyes are capped by bright green lenses. The eyes point upward (as shown here) when the fish is looking for food overhead.

Macropinna microstoma
Macropinna microstoma

Macropinna microstoma
Macropinna microstoma

A bizarre deep-water fish called the barreleye has a transparent head and tubular eyes. Since the fish's discovery in 1939, biologists have known the eyes were very good at collecting light. But their shape seemed to leave the fish with tunnel vision.

Now scientists say the eyes rotate, allowing the barreleye to see directly forward or look upward through its transparent head.

CNBC article

National Geographic Article

Fishbase listing for Macropinna microstoma

Fox 35 Monterey Story and Video of this fish

Follow Ups:

Optional Link URL:
Optional Link Title:
Optional Image URL:
Post Background Color: White     Black
Post Area Page Width: Normal   Full
You must type in the
scrambled text key to
the right.
This is required to
help prevent spam bots
from flooding this BBS.
Text Key: