The Large Picture Blog: Barreleye Fish (Macropinna Microstoma)

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Barreleye Fish (Macropinna Microstoma)

Researchers solve mystery of deep-sea fish with tubular eyes and transparent head

Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute recently solved the half-century-old mystery of a fish with tubular eyes and a transparent head. Ever since the “barreleye” fish Macropinna microstoma was first described in 1939, marine biologists have known that it’s tubular eyes are very good at collecting light. However, the eyes were believed to be fixed in place and seemed to provide only a “tunnel-vision” view of whatever was directly above the fish’s head… — Full Press Release

[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. They point forward when the fish is feeding. The two spots above the fish’s mouth are olfactory organs called nares, which are analogous to human nostrils. Image: © 2004 MBARI]

http://lpb.fieldofscience.com/

[Image: © 2004 MBARI]

http://lpb.fieldofscience.com/

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