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[Animals] Barreleye fish: The deep-sea weirdo with rotating eyes and a see-through head


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Thanks to a yellow pigment that filters out sunlight, barreleyes can't be fooled by a common deep-sea camouflage tactic.

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Name: Barreleye fish (Macropinna microstoma)

Where it lives: The Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean, between 2,000 and 2,600 feet (600 and 800 meters) deep

What it eats: Zooplankton and small crustaceans called copepods

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Why it's awesome: As their name suggests, barreleye fish have really weird tubular eyes that they can rotate to gaze upward through their transparent foreheads. Although they appear green, the lenses are actually tinted with a yellow pigment that helps these bizarre fish distinguish between sunlight and bioluminescence.

Related: Weirdo blinking fish could hold the secrets to how our ancestors evolved to live on land, new study reveals

The ocean's twilight zone — the layer of water from 650 to 3,300 feet (200 to 1,000 m) below the surface — receives just enough sunlight for creatures to cast a faint shadow. Their silhouettes are visible to predators lurking below, which is why some deep-sea critters have evolved light-producing organs on their undersides to match the downwelling light. But barreleyes' ocular trick — which works by filtering out sunlight — stops them being fooled by creatures trying to erase their shadows. 

link: https://www.livescience.com/animals/fish/barreleye-fish-the-deep-sea-weirdo-with-rotating-eyes-and-a-see-through-head

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