Feb
24
2009

Add it to the list! Barreleye fish edition

Don't like the face?: Wait until you see the rectal pouch.
Don't like the face?: Wait until you see the rectal pouch.Courtesy Brauer, A.
Welcome to another edition of “Add it to the list!” Buzzketeers. Or… is this the first edition? It feels like “Add it to the list!” has been a regular feature on Buzz for a couple years now, but, then again, I’ve been suffering from frequent and vivid waking dreams lately. So I might not be the best judge of what “actually exists” (to quote my therapists) right now.

Whatever.

As you possibly know, here on “Add it to the list!” we feature an animal, theory, vegetable, etc. that disgusts me or blows my mind. Such objects and constructs must be added to the list. That way I can keep mental tabs on them. And when the revolution comes, I’ll be able to sort all listed items into the “first against the wall” and “promotions all around” categories with confidence.

Previous items on the list (which may or may not have been featured on Buzz, and may or may not be featured in the future) include electric eels (tagged “Not actually an eel”), hagfish (tagged “Keep your lips off that thing!”), Schrödinger’s Cat (tagged “Please don’t say ‘quantum’ when I’m in the room”), and anglerfish (tagged “nobody wins the battle of the sexes”).

You get the idea, I’m sure.

So what do we learn today? Well, The Telegraph has alerted me to the existence of the barreleye fish. It seems that this singular creature has tubular shaped eyes to gather all available light in its native deep-sea habitat. Do you know what other light-gathering adaptation it has? A freaking see-through head!

OMG! These deep-sea fish! Somebody add that thing to the list!

Check it out:

It was thought that barreleye fish could only stare straight up, so that they might catch the silhouettes of prey swimming above them. Researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, however, have recently observed the fish looking forward. Seeing a fish looking forward is hardly big news, I suppose, but… it’s sort of looking through it’s own head, you know? Yuckers.

Also, some species of barreleye have bioluminescent internal organs (their guts glow). And one species has a glowing rectal pouch.

I’m not sure if this fish is first against the wall, or deserving of a promotion, but, either way it must be recognized and dealt with. So, for glob’s sake, add it to the list!

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

If that embedded video is misbehaving, click on the pink words "The Telegraph." The video is there also.

posted on Tue, 02/24/2009 - 1:10pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Also, check out this link to the Monterey Bay Aquarium'soriginal press release about the research. It describes why this is cool way better than I do, and it has some nice pictures.

I guess part of the reason why this is such a neat discovery is because whenever barreleye fish were captured before, their transparent head-shields were damaged on the way to the surface. Scientists couldn't really observe the movement of the eyes then, of course. The MBA recently was able to capture a specimen and keep it alive in a shipboard aquarium for several hours, however. Hence this fun new information about deep sea fish.

posted on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 12:53pm

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