paw corner: The Strange: Barreleye fish-the glass fish


As I browsed through random events on my Yahoo! front page…one of the titles caught my eye…mostly by its strange picture which appeared to have a fish with a lit-up head!

Alas, though the fish did not actually have a lit-up head, the Barreleye fish does have tubular eyes and a transparent head that does an excellent job of collecting light–>which is why it looks as though the head lights up!

When the fish was first described in 1939, people were in disbelief. Its eyes are surrounded by a transparent, fluid-filled shield that covers the top of the fish’s head. This allows the fish to have some movement of the eye to look around the virtually black ocean around them for food.

In addition, the barreleye fish’s big, flat fins allow for it to stay motionless and await for prey. Their small mouths suggest they are very selective in what they eat, but large digestive system suggests they can eat a variety of things…such as jellies!

Because these fishes live so deep in the ocean (down to where almost no sunlight can penetrate) it is very hard for oceanographers to find out about them, so research will continue to track the Barreleye fish and their survival patterns. To find out more about these weird looking fishes, click here.


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