Shishamo Makropinna – mysterious fish.
The "barreleye" fish Macropinna microstoma was first described in 1939.
Since then scientists believed that its eyes were fixed in place and seemed to provide only a "tunnel-vision" view of whatever was directly above the fish's head. But recently new research made by Bruce Robison and Kim Reisenbichler shows that these unusual eyes can rotate within a transparent shield that covers the fish's head. This allows the barreleye to peer up at potential prey or focus forward to see what it is eating.
Although such tubular eyes are very good at collecting light, they have a very narrow field of view. Furthermore, until now, most marine biologists believed that barreleye's eyes were fixed in their heads, which would allow them to only look upward. This would make it impossible for the fishes to see what was directly in front of them, and very difficult for them to capture prey with their small, pointed mouths.
The fish mostly hanging motionless in the water at the deep of 600 to 800 meters (2,000 to 2,600 feet) below the surface.
In addition to their amazing "headgear," barreleyes have a variety of other interesting adaptations to deep-sea life. Their large, flat fins allow them to remain nearly motionless in the water, and to manoeuvre very precisely. Their small mouths suggest that they can be very precise and selective in capturing small prey. On the other hand, their digestive systems are very large, which suggests that they can eat a variety of small drifting animals as well as jellies.
|Shishamo Makropinna is a deep-sea fish with tubular eyes and transparent head|
|The two spots above the fish's mouth are are olfactory organs called nares, which are analogous to human nostrils.|
|The fish mostly hanging motionless in the water at the deep of 600 to 800 meters (2,000 to 2,600 feet) below the surface.|
|When it spots prey (such as a drifting jelly), the fish rotates its eyes forward and swims upward, in feeding mode.|
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