Friday, January 4, 2013

Transparent Animals

(Photo by Heidi and Hans-Jurgen Koch) Source: via minouette on Pinterest

A few years ago, I made a post about a couple of transparent sea creatures: an octopus and one deep sea fish. Transparency, or translucency is something we might expect in say, jellyfish, or insect wings, or in microbiology but I've stumbled upon a whole collection of different animals who are more or less see-through.

The aptly named Glass frogs (frogs of the amphibian family Centrolenidae) of South and Central America may be mostly lime green, many have translucent abdominal skin through which internal viscera, including the heart, liver, and gastrointestinal tract are visible.

This translucent shrimp is sometimes called a "ghost shrimp".

(Photo by David Shale) Source: via minouette on Pinterest

This North Atlantic animal called Phronima, uses transparency as a survival strategy and a means to be invisible.

Photo by Peter Batson) Source: via minouette on Pinterest

The southern oceans' Glass Squid (Teuthowenia pellucida) "has light organs on its eyes and possesses the ability to roll into a ball, like an aquatic hedgehog."

Flatfish can be transparent in their early planktonic stage.

(Photo by Uwe Kils) Source: via minouette on Pinterest

Even the blood of the crocodile icefish (Channichthyidae) is transparent, lacking hemoglobin and/or only defunct erythrocytes. Because they live in the very cold southern oceans, around Antarctica, which contain more oxygen it's believed they can absorb sufficient oxygen directly through their skin.

This is a transparent pelagic octopus.

We're familiar with translucent wings on flies and bees, but the lovely Glasswinged butterfly (Greta Oto) also has translucent wings.

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