Saturday, March 29, 2014

Transparent Animals

It is a little hard to believe that their are some animals in this world which are transparent. This transparency is caused either by the lack of pigmentation in a particular part of the body.  Here is a list of some of them:

Barreleye Fish

The barreleye fish (Macropinna microstoma) is a fish from the barreleye family.  Found at depths of about 700 meters, it is known for its transparent head.  It was first found in 1939 but the transparent head was not known as when it comes out of water, the head loses its transparency.  Its head is filled with a transparent liquid.  The two dots above the nose is often mistaken for eyes.  It is actually its nose.  The two spherical structures in the head is the eyes. The eyes are capable of rotating 360˚. It was first photographed with the transparent head in 2004.

Glass Frog

Glass frogs form the family Centrolenidae.  They are found in the Amazon rainforests.  Most of their body is green, except for the ventral part which is translucent, allowing you the see the heart, liver and the gastrointestinal tract.  They can reach lengths of 7 cm and are known to eat their own young.  Some species of frogs from this family have such a delicate skin that they can get killed even if a raindrop fall on their body from the sky.

Crocodile Icefish

Crocodile icefish (also known as white blooded fish) form the family of Channichthyidae, a family of perciform fish.  They are found in the Antarctic ocean.  They are transparent due to their blood which lacks the red pigment known as hemoglobin.  Hemoglobin is used to transport oxygen through the blood.  It is one of the only known vertebrates which lack hemoglobin.  It lives in waters which are about -1.9°C, which is the freezing point of seawater.  Due to the higher concentration of oxygen in such cold waters, it is able to survive.

Golden Tortoise Beetle

The golden tortoise beetle (Charidotella sexpunctata) is a species of beetle.  Its color ranges from gold to orange, earning it a name of 'goldbug'.  Its external margins are transparent due to the lack of pigmentation.  It changes color seasonally and also changes color when threatened.

Blue-bellied night wanderer

The blue bellied night wanderer (Cyanogaster noctivaga) is a species of fish found in the Amazon river.  It is known for its bright blue belly.  Most of its body is transparent, revealing its vertebral column.  It was discovered in 2011.  It immediately dies and loses its color after being removed from the water, making it difficult to examine.  It is mostly active in the night.

Glass Squid

The glass squids form the family Cranchiidae.  Their bodies are transparent.  Juveniles live in shallow waters as their transparency camouflages them when light passes through.  Adults descend to deeper waters and can be found at depths of 2 km below sea level.

Many jellyfish are also transparent like the moon jelly.

Source of pic 1, pic 2, pic 3, pic 5, pic 6.
Picture 4 was taken by Nita, a follower of this blog.