Secrets of see-thru headed fish caught on film

Researchers say new footage of a weird fish with a transparent head has finally helped them to understand it.

For 50 years boffins have been baffled as to how the strange looking fish coped with eyes giving it tunnel vision of whatever was directly above its head.

But now they know the Barreleye Fish (or Macropinna microstoma, if you want to get all technical) can rotate its odd eyes within a transparent shield that covers the fish's head.

This, say the Californian scientists, means it can look up when finding food but forwards when feeding ... but can he keep one eye on the football while pretending to listen to the wife?

Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute made their discovery after using special cameras to record the fish at depths of 800m.

"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," said a spokesperson.

"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."

The reason this had not previously been found is that the transparent head is fragile and had never survive being brought to the surface.

Image credit: MBARI
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