Observed in the abyss, this fish with a transparent skull intrigues researchers

“It lives in the twilight zone of the ocean, at depths of 600 to 800 meters”note the American specialists. “Its eyes are directed upwards to spot its favorite prey – usually small crustaceans trapped in the tentacles of siphonophores”, species similar to jellyfish. An astonishing vision, which would allow him in particular to effectively perceive the radiation of living bioluminescent organisms. How does it feed if its eyes are pointing up and its mouth is forward? The researchers, thanks to their observations, understood that he manages to turn his eyes under his transparent dome. A dome which it is difficult to unravel all the mysteries: the rare specimens brought to the surface had indeed lost this gelatinous “pocket”. The likely consequence of pressure differences between the fish’s natural environment and the one we know.

If this transparent head is intriguing, scientists are however sketching hypotheses to seek its usefulness. They now think that it could play a protective role, in order to preserve the integrity of the eyes of the macropinna microstoma. A form of shield, therefore, very useful during the hunting phases when the fish is the most exposed.


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